Wellness and the joys of gardening

Feeling a bit stuck in a rut? Want to feel inspired? Well then pick up a shovel and join me!

Hello. How have you been? I know it has been a while. I have been quite busy, and will explain what I have been up to in a bit.

Between now and the last blog post (which was a few weeks ago), I have been busy with several things (counting on the fingers on my hands):

  • work taking on more hours and responsibilities,
  • and have also been planning a wedding which is a whole other learning curve and maybe will feature some of what I have learnt and observed leading up to the big day.

As well as planning a wedding, I am also getting myself back into fitness, getting a bike, going to the gym, trying to eat right to loose weight for the big day as well as for general health and longevity.

In the nine months and thereabouts leading to the big day I would like to keep to the 8 wellness chapters which I began to explore at the start of the year, but to also intersperse the chapters with other discussion points. So far I have discussed emotional, social, intellectual and environmental wellbeing during COVID. The ones which I have yet to explore are:

  • Physical wellbeing
  • Financial wellbeing
  • Occupational wellbeing
  • Spiritual wellbeing

If you would like to know more about the other wellness key areas of focus to come, have a read of my blog:

Link to Wellness by Greg blog about emotional wellness
Person doing some gardening

In linking to the next chapter to explore, I would like to extend on the theme from the previous blog.

Last time I looked at the environmental wellbeing within the internal space. If you would like to know more about that, please see my previous blog:

Link to Wellness by Greg blog about environmental wellness

In this blog I would like to look at the external environment and it’s role in your wellness and wellbeing.

With that said, let’s talk about gardening.

My fiancé and we have a little garden. For some time we have been having dull brown patches and not much of a garden. I sat in the garden for some time and went through puzzles and scenarios in my head about how to reform and transform.

And the first thing I did was a bit of research.

If you think about it, when starting any project, a good place to start is to do research.

This can be through books, through word of mouth, through the internet. In this digital age I will admit that I did much of my researching online. I read up on grass growing, read the views and feedbacks of professionals, really tried to understand the craft and what is needed when looking to lay grass to make a lawn. I learnt that you need to turn the soil and mark out 1 x 1 metre segments so as to monitor seed growth. Using some bamboo from a tree in the garden, I measured and cut segments to fit. I then got some green netting and covered the seedlings, and on the perimeters placed slug repellent tape. I read that slugs love new fresh grass so I thought, ‘no chance, not letting any of them to get a chance to eating all my new grass’.

Good thing to know: the best times to grow grass seed are March and November.

A timeline of the grass growing project, spanning from 18/03/21 to 31/05/21

As you can see, we have a small garden, but we made it work. We made it work by the key ingredients needed to make anything work:

  • Research
  • Planning
  • Diligence

Read up on your subject matter.

Make yourself familiar with the material.

Make a plan.

And stick to it.

Greg L

You will hear in the fitness community that if you want to see results such as muscle gain or weight loss, that you need to put in the work. You need to stick to the plan and go to the gym on days even if you don’t feel like you want to. The only way you will get results, is to put in the work every day.

Every day I would tend to the garden, see how it was going, if it looked a bit dry I would water it. We don’t have a gardening hose, so this meant taking buckets of water up and down the stairs, but we didn’t mind.

Little by little, we made it work.

The sense of accomplishment one gets from improving their external environment is good, and I think it goes beyond that.

By improving the external environment and making it more pleasant and stimulating, it not only gave a feeling of accomplishment, it also gave a sense of improved pride in place, as with the garden taking shape and looking better, it made us happier with the environment, and in turn this happiness promoted our sense of wellbeing.

Greg L

And like with going to the gym, the first few times may be unpleasant and feel like an effort, but when you begin to feel that you have more energy, less stressed, stronger and see results, the idea of going to the gym becomes something that you look forward to.

I will leave you with a little video with Alan Titchmarsh. For those of you who don’t know him, he is a famed and beloved British gardener. He makes some nice suggestions, some of which I used, other information gathered from other sources as word of mouth and online.

How to make a lawn using lawn seed with Alan Titchmarsh. Property of YouTube

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and if you know of anyone who may benefit from / appreciate the blog, please recommend it to them as well. In the next blog I will be looking at the physical wellbeing, so if you would like to know more about that, please stay tuned.

Lastly before I go, a bit of safety netting. I know we have discussed gardening during this blog, but the key theme that links all of the blogs is your wellness and your wellbeing. If you are not feeling well, that is ok. You are not alone and there is help available. If you are feeling low and struggling with your mental health, please talk to your GP and freephone Samaritans 116 123 if you are having difficult thoughts and feeling a sense of hopelessness.

There is help out there. You are not alone.

Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely time wherever you are on the planet.

And remember: love yourself. And others.



A bit about the author:

I am a guy who just over 40, who is sharing a journey of wellness and wellbeing. I am also a mental health professional with a wealth of years of experience in supporting individuals who have challenging mental illnesses and personality disorders. 

Prior to my current professional role, I spent several years supporting members of the community as a fitness professional, assisting individuals with weight loss and health improvement programmes.

I completed a PGDip in Mental Health Nursing in 2013, and an MSc in Advanced Practice in 2016 in which I looked at improving nurses’ level of engagement with patients with challenging personality disorders. 

In 2018 I successfully undertook a Clinical reasoning in Physical Assessments course, and in 2020 I commenced further training in Nurse Prescribing to train toward becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, and will be looking forward to supporting those in the community with mental health support and medicinal support.

In 2015 I also undertook a Mentorship for practice (BSc Hons) course and have been supporting future nurses with their training and development. I have also recently supported a Healthcare Assistant Staff toward training in and successfully passing and achieving a Foundation Degree in Mental Health Nursing.

In my current role I am a person looking to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the individual. Don’t think of me as a motivational coach or speaker. Think of me more as a wellness guide, as I use my mental health training and experience to suggest and advice ways to enhance your wellness and wellbeing. If you are struggling with your mental health though, please seek advice from a medical professional such as your GP.

I believe that it is a journey. It is a process. It will take time. But we will get there.

Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely time wherever you are on the planet.

And remember: love yourself. And others.

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