How does it work?

There are a number of things central to SoH, and intrinsic to gardening, that produce the good effects (outcomes)that we expect:

  • Being in nature
  • Being outdoors
  • Physical Exercise
  • Being with others
  • Achieving common goals
  • Eating seasonal produce
  • Growing and nurturing stuff

The good stuff includes:

  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced depression
  • Improved feelings of well being
  • Reduced Stress
  • Better Physical Health
  • Improved diet
  • Increase in attention
  • Improved concentration
  • Weight loss
  • Less social isolation

Can you prove it? (the research/evidence base)

The main sources of evidence for our approach are gathered in a literature review of ten papers on the benefits of gardening on mental health, published since 2003. “Gardening as a mental health intervention:a review” Clatworthy J. et al., 2013.

The team review the ten articles and collate the evidence produced, the findings are:

All reported positive effects of gardening as a mental health intervention for service users, including reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. Participants described a range of benefits across emotional, social, vocational, physical and spiritual domains. Overall the research was of a considerably higher quality than that reviewed in 2003, providing more convincing evidence in support of gardening-based interventions.

So they found gardening to be a positive intervention, and this held true across the various projects reviewed. For more research and evidence of the benefits of gardening on mental health please visit our research and evidence page.

โ€œThere is something soothing about working in the yard. Planting seeds and seeing them poke green out of the dirt. And it gets you out of the house with out going too far.โ€
โ€• Michael Lee West, Crazy Ladies

About the Author



  1. I suffer from depression and find working in my garden to be very therapeutic. It definitely makes me feel better! I love the idea of this program.

  2. Belinda Marks

    I help at a local raised bed allotment through mind I started doing tailored chi for my body and mind and heard they were running an allotment group.
    I love to see what I’ve grown from seed… into plants and we’re lucky last week to have two yellow butterflies dance in amongst our potato’s and pose for a photo all good stuff I highly recommend doing even just couple hours a week in a similar venture … Good Luck..

  3. Belinda Marks

    Hi meant to be tai chi. Sorry…

  4. Helen Gaylard

    I think this is a super idea! If there is a place left in Cannington,I would love to get involved. I am bipolar with knowledge of the value of working in small,safe groups.I also love gardening.
    This would be an opportunity for me to get out more and to meet others in the “same” boat.

    1. kris@soh

      HI Helen

      Why dont you pop across on Tuesday and say Hi?

      We are in the orchard from 11-3


  5. Sometimes gardening has been the only thing that has helped when I’ve been in danger of sinking into an abyss with depression.

  6. ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒบ Fay ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒบ

    Mental health
    Mental and health two words that don’t really go together
    Which do you treat first ??
    Give medical for the mental side and watch the health side go down ??
    But with out the mental side the health side mite be ok
    So there’s is the problem it’s linked it hold hands in way ,
    So how can you try to help , well in way you don’t , ?? You give that person a space , a space to be free and not worry that what they say or do will be looked at wrongly, you let them be apart of something, that they can see what they’re doing is achieving something anything no matter what it is .
    You give the person time to talk and not talked down too or treating them like one of those people !!!
    If you can help someone to recover even if it’s just a bit of them you will see the changes it makes the hope that it gives
    How do I know this well it’s happening I’ve seen it I am part of it
    Seed of hope give this and more thought letting people be apart of something, supporting each other without prejudging,
    Building not just the object that are being made , but building the person They strengths they confidence , and outlook , giving something to look forward too, achievements.and laugher , even songs and yoga and art , gardening , and giving ,
    Learning new things and skills being outside .
    This is part of my recovery this is my path I am not alone this is what seed of hope has done for me .

    taking a seed and watching it grow .

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