Discovering the Connection: Gardening and Psychology

Written by: Lars Nyman

Gardening and psychology

Gardening and psychology

Gardening, with its rich interaction with nature, isn't just physically rewarding; it's a balm for the mind and soul too. The practice of gardening is intertwined with the realm of psychology, promoting mental wellness and positive emotions. This article delves into the compelling connection between gardening and psychology and how this green therapy can be your solace in today's fast-paced world.

Discovering the Connection: Gardening and Psychology Cheatsheet

Benefits of Gardening:

  • Increases happiness and reduces stress levels
  • Boosts mental well-being and self-esteem
  • Enhances cognitive function and focus

The Psychology of Gardening:

  • Offers a sense of purpose and control
  • Fosters mindfulness and resilience
  • Builds connections and promotes community

Fascinating Facts:

  • 30 minutes of gardening = 150 calorie burn 💪🌱
  • Plants indoors improve air quality and mental focus
  • Gardening linked to reduced anxiety and symptoms of depression
  • Harvesting own food leads to healthy eating habits 🌽🥦
Discovering the Connection: Gardening and Psychology

The Connection Between Gardening and Psychology

In my numerous years of navigating through the world of flora, I've realized an intriguing correlation: gardening and psychology.

This might seem surprising, but no, I assure you it's not an accidental observation.

Gardening as a Therapeutic Activity:

Gardening is, indeed, a recognized form of therapy in psychological circles.

The term 'Horticulture Therapy' (HT) explains this connection.

"Horticulture Therapy is the engagement of a person in gardening and plant-based activities, facilitated by a trained therapist, to achieve specific therapeutic treatment goals." — American Horticultural Therapy Association

Since the 1800s, HT units have produced significant benefits in patients' mental health.

Unwittingly Practicing Mindfulness

By its very nature, gardening demands increasingly high levels of focus and concentration.

Think of the times you've carefully planted a seed or pruned a beloved rose bush.

"Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally." — Jon Kabat-Zinn

Pursuing these tasks mindfully, we culminate into what psychologists term as 'accidental mindfulness practitioners'.

The Neurological Benefits

There's a fascinating relation between gardening and the human brain.

Ever noticed the sudden happiness surge post an intense weeding session?

"Exposure to soil bacteria can boost the brain’s serotonin levels. This natural antidepressant can regulate our mood, sleep, and appetite." — Dr. Christopher Lowry

The Mirror Effect

Did you ever realize how our gardens metaphorically mirror our mental states?

A healthy, well-tended garden is a reflection of a sound mind, just as a wild, overgrown one may hint at turmoil.

Personal Practices:

I encourage myself to remain aware of this psychological aspect in my gardening routine.

Gentle focus, deep breathing, savoring the touch of moist soil – these form part of my mindfulness exercise.

The Harmony of Gardening and Psychology

It's amazing to know how much gardening does more than just beautifying our surroundings!

Be it anemones or zinnias, tomatoes or potatoes; each come with a side-benefit—mental wellness.

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul." — Alfred Austin

Embracing the Connection:

So, next time you find yourself among your rhododendrons, remember—they're more than pretty flowers!

Equipped with this knowledge, let's add extra resilience to health—both ours and the garden's—through the study of gardening and psychology.


How does gardening affect psychology?

Gardening positively impacts mental health, reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

What is the psychological connection between gardening and well-being?

The connection lies in the therapeutic benefits of gardening, enhancing overall well-being.

Can gardening improve mental health?

Yes, gardening promotes emotional well-being and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Does gardening help with stress?

Gardening serves as a stress reliever, reducing cortisol levels and promoting a calmer state of mind.

Why is gardening considered therapeutic?

Gardening engages the mind and body, fostering a sense of purpose and achievement.

The act of gardening is a powerful form of green therapy that nurtures not just plants, but also the human spirit. It encourages us to embrace imperfections, fosters a growth mindset, forms social connections, deepens our bond with nature, promotes mindfulness, relieves stress, provides physical exercise, and leads to a healthier diet.

So the next time you find yourself overwhelmed by stress or trapped in the hustle and bustle of life, step outside, grab a spade, and lose yourself in the timeless joy of gardening. Cultivate your garden, and let it cultivate your mind.

Want to know more about Gardening and psychology? Check out these posts:

Share this and help your friend grow!

You might also enjoy:

Read All Articles

Your perfect garden awaits!

Launch your garden