My earliest memory of myself in the garden, was helping my grandma feed the birds with her homemade suet cakes and watering my grandad's prized tomatoes in his greenhouse!
Fast forward twenty or so years, and my husband and I have an allotment and we too grow tomatoes, alongside herbs and flowers.
It has been incredibly rewarding watching a tiny seed grow into a trailing line of courgettes, or a bunch of seedlings burst into life to form masses of bright and colourful flower heads that attract our lovely and incredibly important pollinators, such as bees and butterflies (I have been known to watch the bumblebees fly into the trumpets of foxgloves for quite a while as it's such a sight to see!!).
For me gardening has helped a lot with my battle with mental wellbeing. I often struggle to leave the house due to anxiety, which at times, can be a daily occurance. However, by watering our plants outside and taking care of them, listening to the birds or watching the bees, I have noticed my levels of anxiety slowly reduce and it has become a bit more manageable.
My advice for all you first time allotmenteers is to start small and create a plan of what you want to grow, as this will help reduce the levels of stress and frustration. Our allotment is a quarter size and it's big enough for the two of us. Even as our family grows, we will have enough room to grow our food and even flowers too! Oh and do label everything as you sow it - it's pretty amazing how labels suddenly become lost/ damaged or if your memory fails you, like it often does with me!
So why not this week celebrate with Growing for Wellbeing and sow some of your own seeds, watch them grow tall and take delight in what you have accomplished, however small it might be. Quite often, it's the small choices we make that create the longest lasting effects.
“If you truly lovely nature- you will find beauty everywhere” - Vincent Van Gogh.
Author credit: Tara Mason