Don’t it make you feel good?
It’s March and it’s mild and here in this corner of North Yorkshire we’re not flooded out. If you go out and look at the hedgerows you’ll see the buds coming out on the hawthorn. Blackthorn is actually in blossom. (That’s the white stuff that you might see if you’re lucky enough to have one growing in a hedgerow near you.)
Snowdrops and crocuses and early daffodils are splotching colour all over the place.
When we’re feeling down, we often don’t see these things. But making an effort to look can have a really beneficial effect on our mental wellbeing. If you don’t believe me, and you want to see the science, take a look at the Ecominds report on the impact of the natural world:
‘Ecotherapy,’ they tell us, ‘ has the potential to enable resilience and can help build up an individual’s capacity to cope with life stresses and have a preventative effect against future mental health problems.’
If you’re not in the mood for science, then just come down to the Orb garden and see how much progress has been made in transforming a patch of waste ground. Tucked away behind the Old Garage off Knaresborough High Street, the Orb garden began four seasons ago with a grant from Ecominds. Since then, so much has happened. Hours of work by volunteers and service users have created a garden that’s full of colour throughout the summer. The garden has provided a welcoming backdrop for music and art during FEVA, produces vegetables and herbs in abundance and has a thriving pool and wildlife area.
The garden has also attracted a lot of support during its short life. In addition to funding from Ecominds, we have received grants from the Co-operative Community Fund, from the Duke of York’s Community Initiative and, most recently, a generous grant from Santander.
The big plan for this summer is to purchase railway sleepers to make the raised beds more robust and durable. Slightly less sensible, but more attractive, is the almost complete ‘hobbit house’, a rustic summer house where overworked gardeners can sit in comfort to watch the rain.
So, as spring starts to really get going, what a lot there is to celebrate down in the garden!