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Getting busy in the garden instinctively feels good for us – and a new swathe of research confirms it. We take a look at the link between health, happiness and horticulture

Spending time in the fresh air, being present for the turn of the seasons, the simple feel-good factor that follows planting something and watching it grow… Gardens come with benefits that often feel instinctively nurturing.

And there’s scientific evidence they do make a real difference to your health and happiness. Earlier this year, the National Gardens Scheme published the report Gardens And Health which argued that, ‘Gardens play a powerful role in the care of our minds and bodies and should be used more systematically in our health and social care system.’

In a wide-ranging review, they showed how access to gardens has been linked to reduced depression and loneliness, benefits for heart disease, cancer and obesity and providing a sense of achievement in children, among other things. Meanwhile, the King’s Fund (the government’s health think tank) has advised the NHS to include horticulture in its healthcare policy five-year plan. And, in July, the Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable (OHRT) – made up of members of the gardening, science and healthcare industries, plus government policy makers – held a conference on Health, Happiness and Horticulture.

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About Healthy Magazine

Discover a #BodyofKnowledge in the October/November edition of healthy magazine, in which we reveal the results of our Body MOT reader survey. In light of Breast Cancer Awareness month this October, we also talk to three women about their very different experiences of the disease. Plus, we explore the world's best natural beauty secrets from Australia to South Korea, and take a fresh look at the 'F' word (fat, that is!). As the seasons change, keep your health and happiness on track with the new digital issue of healthy.