Gardening Really Does Make us Happy! - Squires Garden Centres

Gardening Really Does Make us Happy!

According to a new survey, gardening and being among plants really does bring happiness! A resounding 91% of respondents confirmed they “love gardening”, with 84% saying it made them “feel happy” according to research conducted by Squire’s Garden Centres*.

The findings are part of Squire’s customer Gardening & Wellbeing Survey which looked at the benefits our gardens and plants bring to our health and happiness. A telling 94% said they would recommend gardening to ‘aid physical and mental health’, re-affirming the well-documented view that our gardens and being outside has a huge benefit to our overall wellbeing. Many people said that spending time in the garden delivers a sense of calm and a feeling of achievement that helps reduce the pressure of everyday life. Customer comments supporting this view included “I love being outside with no pressures of life getting in the way” and “it’s uplifting to get outside, breathe in the fresh air and contribute positively to the environment.” 

Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres, comments: “Our customers have told us just how much their gardens, plants, the outdoors and being ‘at one’ with nature mean to them. Our survey of over 3,000 customers confirms that gardening can have a tremendously positive impact on our existence – it is simply a brilliant antidote to our everyday lives and stresses.

“I would defy anyone not to feel uplifted from being with plants, listening to bird song and simply being outside in nature. As one of our customers said, “being outside is peaceful and grounding, it’s an opportunity to feel a connection to the whole world”. I couldn’t put it better myself!”

The survey findings support views long held by a number of charities. The gardening for health charity, Thrive, uses plants and gardens to improve health and wellbeing through a process called Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH). For over forty years, skilled practitioners have been teaching and nurturing client gardeners during sessions at their centres. Thrive Practitioner, Helene Guild confirms gardening has huge benefits, commenting: “People improve their physical and mental health through a sense of purpose and achievement. Just being out in the fresh air, surrounded by plants, gardens and nature has a transformative effect.”

And the benefits of gardening also help younger people. The Green Hub Project for Teens, based in Surrey and a Squire’s charity partner, has created a safe and tranquil garden haven for youngsters. Co-founder and co-chair, Vanessa Lanham-Day, comments: “There is so much evidence that spending time in nature has massive beneficial effects on both physical and mental wellbeing. And most people can easily access this amazing benefit just by spending more time in the garden. It has a really calming effect on the brain, as well as releasing all sorts of endorphins which make you feel good about yourself – and others.

“The Green Hub works with young people with social, emotional and mental health challenges, and our approach is to get them involved with one of our teen gardens, enjoying the simple pleasure that gardening and nature has to offer. And it just works – it helps them to step change their mental wellbeing and gives them tools to cope better in the future. It’s powerful stuff – and it’s something everyone can easily benefit from.”

The Gardening & Wellbeing Survey has inspired  Squire’s new ‘Plant Happy’ campaign, which celebrates the amazing benefits of our gardens and plants, through a series of customer communications, events and activities over the coming months. As the weather begins to brighten and days get longer, get gardening and give your mental and physical health a boost.

*Source: Squire’s Customer Gardening & Wellbeing Survey 2024 with 3,555 participants.

Charity Information

Thrive – The gardening for health charity

Thrive uses gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people living with disabilities or ill health or who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable. Thrive uses over 40 years’ experience with social and therapeutic horticulture (STS) to support people’s physical and mental health, communication and thinking skills. To find out more about their programmes click here or phone 0118 989 5688.

The Green Hub Project for Teens – Promoting mental wellbeing in teenagers

The Green Hub Project for Teens is a local community project serving Surrey & Hampshire and surrounding areas, supporting teenagers and their families / carers facing SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health) challenges. In addition, the organization works to promote awareness and understanding of mental health and emotional wellbeing for young people in the broader community. To find out more about click here.


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