Squire's Guide to Planting Happiness! - Squires Garden Centres

Squire’s Guide to Planting Happiness!

A recent survey by Squire’s Garden Centres confirms why we love gardening, with 84% of respondents saying it makes them “feel happy” – providing peace, tranquility and escapism from a busy world.

The ‘Plant Happy’ survey, which attracted over 3,300 responses from Squire’s customers, revealed being with nature provides ‘time out’  from the day-to-day stresses of our lives, with 91% of people confirming they “love gardening” and 64% admitting “gardening helps them to relieve stress”. Our gardens provide a sanctuary and space to feel at peace – simply through planting and weeding or relaxing in a chair – absorbing the beauty and wonder of nature.

And with rumours* of a potentially wet summer ahead of us, which may adversely affect our mood, all is not lost! Many plants in fact thrive in warm and wetter conditions, so nurturing plants even in less sunny conditions will continue to bring much joy and sense of satisfaction – 85% of survey respondents said gardening gives “a sense of achievement”.

Comments confirmed that being around and appreciating the beauty and wonder of plants really can help create a sense of calm – as well as reduce anxiety. Responding to the question asking what customers love about gardening, 60% confirmed it gets them “in touch with nature”, with comments  including: “…it gives me a sense of peace”“… a sense of wellbeing…” and “…peace, birds and connecting with nature…”. 

Sarah Squire, Chairman of Squire’s Garden Centres, comments: “Our survey findings overwhelming revealed that being in contact with nature provides an antidote to our busy lives. Even simple tasks can be very rewarding and longer term satisfaction is to be found in  creating a space to relax in with family and friends.

“In addition, introducing plants with wellbeing benefits to our gardens and outside spaces can help create an experience for all the senses – uplifting mood, aiding sleep and reducing stress. Colour choice can be very meaningful and set the perfect scene for us. The garden really can provide a place where all can be well.”

With tips on creating a garden for happiness and wellbeing, here is Squire’s guide to being ‘plant happy’!

Planting for Wellbeing

It is well-documented that being surrounded by certain plants can make us feel good, particularly those renowned for their wellbeing effects. Supporting this, Squire’s survey revealed 94% would recommend gardening “to aid with physical and mental health”. The simplicity of nurturing plants can bring about a sense of unpressured purposed, in turn delivering feelings of achievement and calm. Surrounding yourself with plants with mood enhancing properties can radically enhance the wellbeing benefits of our gardens -whatever their size. Take inspiration from some of these plants to boost mood, aid concentration, and encourage a positive outlook, bringing a sense calm and relaxation to a corner of the garden as well as the mind.

Fragrant Jasmine has long been used in aromatherapy for its qualities to lift mood. It is the perfect climber for many outside spaces, with delicate flowers and lush green foliage. The plant’s rich scent is known to boost happiness and increase confidence, as well as reducing feelings of stress.

Honeysuckle is another delightful climber whose delicate flower, colours and sweet, soothing scents are sure to bring about happiness -Honeysuckle is a garden staple. Its properties are used in natural remedies, including some combating headaches. It is known to help alleviate mental and physical stresses as well as bring about a sense of tranquility.

Nepeta, often referred to as ‘Catmint’ and known for the euphoric effect it can have on cats – also has beneficial properties for us humans too. Its calming and gentle nature make it a good antidote to tension helping to us to relax. With its calming influences, it is a perfect remedy for stress and anxiety.

Of all garden companions, Rosemary arguably brings along the most health and wellbeing benefits. Its fragrant presence can help relieve stress, anxiety and depression – as well as improving memory and aiding alertness. While fragrant Lemon Balm is known for its calming properties, as well as aiding sleep.

Colour & Mood

In addition, colour can play a big part in wellbeing too and impacts mood. Gardens are often personal sanctuaries – what we plant can resonate with individuals and often colours hook into our emotions. Colour has an amazing effect on mind and spirit, it can lift mood as well as add visual interest to outdoor spaces. Calming pastels create a calm and serene area with soft pinks, yellows, mauves, baby blues and whites.A soothing and peaceful garden can be created with cool tones of blues, purples and greens. For a vibrant and upbeat atmosphere, create a cheerful space with positive energy using warm reds, pinks, oranges and yellows.

Our gardens really can be our happy place, as one customer commented: “It’s uplifting to get outside, breathe in the fresh air and contribute positively to the environment”.


* https://www.timeout.com/uk/news/the-uk-could-be-in-for-the-wettest-summer-in-100-years-052924


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