“Spending time in the garden during the lockdown has been therapeutic and good for mental and physical health” ~ Ekta Unity

People who regularly spend time in the garden are significantly more likely to report general good health, higher psychological wellbeing and greater physical activity levels than those who don’t.

For our Ekta Unity service users, self-isolating during the coronavirus lockdown has provided the time and opportunity to create the garden they have always wanted, producing a sense of pride and of course pleasure for them.

There are many benefits to gardening: Research has found that spending two hours a week in nature is linked to better mental health and wellbeing. It combines exercise and activity and the beauty of a well kept garden can raise your spirits. No matter the size – gardens can provide an escape from the negative news and break the monotony of being cooped inside all day.

The lockdown has created a crop-growing revolution that could transform how we think about nature, food security and our communities. Growing flowers and vegetables has long been hailed as one of the most beneficial of pastimes and an initial sowing of seeds in the early days of the Covid-19 crisis has resulted in a bumper crop of early seedlings, which many of our service users have been sharing photographs of.

Ekta Unity took up community-minded activities at the beginning of the lockdown and included flower seedlings in the care packages, which are regularly delivered to over 200 service users.

One of our service users commented: “I’ve found that keeping active in my garden, with the birds singing, getting fresh air and my fingers covered in dirt, has been a delightful way to spend my time during the lockdown. Spring is here and the sun is shining. It’s a nice bit of positivity amid these unprecedented times and it’s becoming the perfect opportunity to do a spot of gardening”

Ekta Unity believe that gardening combines exercise and activity, and is well known to boost wellbeing, along with the restorative power of tending and caring for living things. Of course, there is the beauty and charm of flowers and gardens to raise the spirits and the pleasure and satisfaction of growing and eating your own food. No matter how big or small your space, you can start growing plants, flowers and other foliage now and throughout the summer months.

Please see below some beautiful photographs sent in to us by our service users, of the seeds which have bloomed into flowers that they have planted over the last 14 weeks.

Muna Chauhan
Vice Chair
Ekta Unity