Gardening keeps you sane!

HoltonLee group small


It’s official. The experts have pronounced that gardening is beneficial to emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Gardening experts

So I thought I would ask the views of some real experts – on the Flourish project run by Livability at Holton Lee, a beautiful 350-acre Dorset estate.

Flourish is open to anyone with any disability or mental health issue who is interested in working with nature and other people in lovely gardens growing vegetables, flowers and fruit.


What does gardening do for you?


  • “It’s primitive, earthy: you’re touching the soil, smelling and feeling it. And when you see things you’ve planted growing, it gives you a sense of achievement.” (David)
  • “You’re out in the fresh air, nature all around you; you can’t help feeling better. Even the difficult things like getting out deep-rooted weeds – it’s like a boxing match, it’s great when you win!” (Keith)
  • “It’s a challenge sometimes and that gives you energy.” (Mike)
  • “It’s real – so many people are living in an artificial environment. And there’s all that Vitamin D!” (Maggie)
  • “It makes me feel close to God. Just to see something grow from nothing is amazing, and to be part of making it grow. There’s a lot in the bible about growing things.” (Josh)

God’s garden

HoltonLee Dave small

In 1925 Dorothy Frances Gurney wrote a poem on the back of an envelope.

Called God’s Garden it included the words, “One is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.”

And in 2016 the scientists and psychologists came to a similar conclusion, in their own vocabulary!