Gardening at the office

We are drawing close to the end of the gardening year. The Genus garden is being tidied up and put to bed for the winter. The long days pottering and working outside are replaced with a bit more time indoors thinking about the garden rather than actually doing the gardening.

What does this absence from the digging, weeding and watering mean for gardeners? Well, we have written a number of blogs now about the wellbeing benefits that gardening bestows on gardeners. The physical act of gardening contributes to keeping fit, and gardening takes people into an outdoor realm with colours, sights and smells that alter mood and improve mental wellbeing too.

A whole series of studies have now been undertaken documenting this wide range of benefits to gardeners, as well as researching the reasons how and why these changes take place. For example a recent poll by a gardening company showed that 88% of respondents felt that the most important way gardening improved their health was improving their mental wellbeing. A comprehensive review of evidence by Garden Organic shows that gardening can help people with serious illnesses such as dementia and cancer to cope better, and gardening can lessen the symptoms of asthma and depression.

There is just so much evidence now about what gardeners get out of gardening, that there are many new gardens opening up in spaces we could never have imagined hosting such a thing. Gardening at the office is a new trend. Something that has been happening in the States for a while, a number of employers are opening up workplace gardens to bring the benefits of gardens and gardening to their employees. 

Wolff Olins a design company in London has an employee vegetable garden on the roof, The Guardian newspaper built an office garden in a skip, and The Office Group in London who rent out office space also have an arrangement with a charity working with young people to build and help maintain office gardens in some of their properties. Garden wellbeing really can be found everywhere.