Gardening has been well documented as being good for both our physical health and mental well-being.
Lock down has forced those with a garden or outdoor space to seek sanctuary and solace in their green retreat, during what has been a warm and sunny view couple of months. And the demand for gardens is set to grow the longer lock down measures continue.
A recent survey by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) – carried out in light of the cancelled Chelsea Flower Show this May – revealed that appreciation of gardens has doubled during lockdown; with seven out of 10 respondents saying their outside space has helped their mental health.
More and more people are putting greater importance on their gardens; and according to the research, a huge 67 per cent of people who have no outside space are more likely to put it on their wish list when they move house.
Having opened its sales offices (under social distancing rules) at the beginning of the month, Bovis Homes – part of the Vistry Group – is now gearing up for greater demand on new homes that offer a garden.
Group marketing director, Kevin Wilkins, said: “We have long been used to customers’ requirements for a contemporary kitchen or energy efficient features of a brand-new home, but the pandemic may have re-focussed what is important to some home hunters.
“For those who have spent weeks and weeks sharing living space with the rest of the family, those fortunate enough to have a garden will no doubt be thankful for that outdoor space – and along with people with no outdoor space, may crave something newer and/ or bigger.”
One of the many benefits of new homes is that the majority come with a garden; often a blank canvas for buyers to put their own stamp on.
Those buyers who snap up the show home on a development, have the added value of the professionally landscaped garden which accompanies it.
Kevin added: “Simply sitting in a garden or outdoor space can evoke a feeling of tranquillity or happiness, whether it be tending to plants, enjoying downtime with the family, appreciating nature or relaxing with a book.
“For many, the largely good weather throughout lockdown has made these unprecedented times a little more bearable for those who have been isolated and a welcomed distraction for those with children.”
Gardening activities that are currently having a positive impact on well-being during lockdown, according to the RHS, are:
• Mowing the lawn
• Planting and potting
• Cutting back or trimming
• Sowing seeds
The RHS survey also found:
• Nearly six in 10 people (57%) said they now value their gardens more than pre-lockdown
• Over half (51%) said they will value their garden more after lockdown
• Nearly three quarters (71%) of those who have outside space, said their garden, courtyard or balcony had helped their mental health during lockdown
• Some 60% of respondents felt that having some outdoor space had helped their physical health during the coronavirus crisis
Even the smallest gardens have been helping with people’s mental health, with 59% of people with 10 sq meters or less of outdoor space saying it helped their mental health.