Gardening has long been associated with lowering stress levels, but a new study has found exactly which plants can make you feel less stressed.
Experts from the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK studied the residents of 38 gardens to see how their health was impacted by certain plants.
They gave the owners a range of flowers, shrubs, trees and plants to add to their gardens and monitored their stress levels over the course of a year.
Researchers then studied how each of the plant additions made them feel, noting that they didn’t have to care of the plants but simply plant them and watch them grow.
More than half the residents said the new additions to their garden helped them to feel happier, with two fifths saying they felt more relaxed.
Residents also said the garden lifted their spirits and made them feel more cheerful.
So, what plants did researchers suggest were the best mood boosters? Planted blooms including azaleas, clematis, daffodils, petunias and lavender made the difference.
Researchers found a higher proportion of healthy daytime cortisol patterns in residents after planting these plants leaving the residents with better health levels than before they added them to their garden.
Author of the study and Royal Horticultural Society well-being fellow Lauriane Suyin Chalmin-Pui said the results showed just how important a little patch of garden is for everyone living in any type of home.
“The stress reduction data is startling, in that we found such a significant response with just a relatively small number of plants,” she said.
“Now we know that access to even a tiny patch of nature has beneficial effects for our health. Re-greening our neighbourhoods is really important.”
She said the exercise highlighted the importance of plants and gardens in design plans for building and living spaces saying they were ‘vital’ to our health.
Watch Backyard Envy Thursdays at 1:30pm and 8:30pm on LifeStyle Home
Stream over 50 different sports & action-packed shows available across multiple devices with Foxtel Now. Available with a 10-day free* trial.