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Green therapy

Has there ever been a better time to give green therapy a go? Here's 5 simple ways to spruce up your garden and boost your mood at the same time.

You might have teased your friend for being a Good Life cliché and planting a veg patch during Lockdown – but listen up, buttercup – getting outdoors and tinkering in the garden has been proven to improve your wellbeing and bust low mood.

And has there ever been a better time to give green therapy a go? Here’s 5 simple ways to spruce up your garden in time for spring and boost your mood at the same time.

1. Invest in a veg patch

Don’t resist it any longer! Raised beds are perfect for growing flowers, herbs and vegetables, helping to keep weeds and pests at bay, preventing soil compaction and providing excellent drainage. They even keep your soil warmer and can extend your growing season.

Plus, they are easier to tend than ground-level flower and vegetable plots, saving your back and knees from strain. Notcutts Garden Centre at Newnham Court Shopping Village have a range of raised beds – in all shapes and sizes, to fit your garden space – or ask their friendly team for advice.

2. Small space inspo

Not able to get outside much at the moment or have a smaller outside space? Not a problem! Herbs can be grown in something as small as a window box or right inside your home. Experts will tell you that everyone, no matter how small their outdoor space, can experience the satisfaction and enjoyment of growing their own food.

From Microgreens on windowsills to home grown potatoes in sacks and dwarf apple trees in patio containers, you can pretty much grow vegetables, fruit and herbs in containers of all shapes and sizes. All without the need to plant in the ground. No excuses!

3. Feed the birds

It’s not just the birds that benefit from you feeding them in your garden. Studies have shown that seeing and hearing birds in your outside space has a direct link to lowering levels of stress, anxiety and depression.

Give wild birds a safe place for a pitstop with one of the many different feeding options available out there – from traditional wooden bird tables to hanging feeders ideal for loose seeds and fat balls. There’s an extensive range to browse at Notcutts at Newnham Court Shopping Village, including some more unique items such as hanging tea pot and tea cup feeders.

4. A pond project

Watching fish or wildlife use and enjoy a garden pond is a great delight, but that’s just part of the attraction. Ponds are sought-after features in their own right, bringing the relaxing sound and movement of water, soothing reflections and an opportunity to grow wonderful, water-loving plants. Garden ponds have the same calming effect on the senses as listening to classical music, studies suggest.

But before you embark on your pond project speak to experts about what you’ll need and what fish to consider. Run by fish keepers, for fish keepers, Maidenhead Aquatics at Newnham Court Shopping Village has been supplying aquatic and pond products to fish fanciers for over 30 years – and are always happy to offer advice.

5. Container gardening glam

It was last year’s big gardening trend and looks set to be as popular this year. Whether you have a patio over looking a lawn, balcony or just a window, pots are a great way to add a splash of colour to any space.

‘Container gardening is not only great for smaller outdoor spaces and brightening up corners, but it is also very simple,’ says Guy Barter, Chief Horticulturist at RHS.

‘You buy potting compost, pots, plants, bulbs – almost any type of plant can be grown in a container,’ he adds. ‘No need to worry about digging or soil manuring, feeding, weeding and so on. So it is perfect for those taking up gardening for the first time.’ That’ll be me then! And if I can do it – so can you. For a wide selection visit Notcutts Garden Centre at Newnham Court Shopping Village.

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