Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Turn Your Garden into a Wellbeing Haven

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Turn Your Garden into a Wellbeing Haven

Article excerpt

EVER thought how much a garden might be able to help a loved one suffering from mental health problems, whether it's an elderly relative showing signs of dementia or a traumatised child? Former city finance worker Faith Ramsay, new chair of trustees at horticulture therapy charity Thrive (thrive.org.uk), left her lucrative job to re-train as a garden designer and in the process alleviated her own bouts of depression.

She explains: "Thrive therapists use horticulture to achieve a therapeutic outcome. Different plants help alleviate different problems."

Here, she offers tips on plants to include in therapeutic garden schemes: LAVENDER FAITH says: "It's calming, balances the senses and has a sedative quality which can aid sleep. Being surrounded by lavender and the natural smell of it is very good.

"If you've had an emotionally traumatic moment, lavender is subliminally very calming."

ROSEMARY "HELPS memory and is good for dementia settings," she says. "It's a stimulating plant for dealing with feeling low and needing a boost. I wouldn't have lavender and rosemary cheek by jowl. There needs to be space for calming and space for being uplifted. " EARLY SPRING-FLOWERING BULBS "FOR many people, mental health problems, [such as SAD], are worse in the winter. Choose an early spring-flowering bulb for a sense of optimism, to give the message that life goes on and positive things are coming.

"Iris reticulata come out in February in lovely blues and purples, when the weather is grey and you are feeling rock-bottom. …

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