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Gardening good for your state of mind

Gardener at work
Experts says gardeners are less likely to feel depressed. Credit: PA Archive

Gardeners are happier than non-gardeners and less likely to show signs of depression, according to researchers at the University of Essex.

Professor of environment and society at the University of Essex, Jules Pretty, said scientific research at a number of universities, including at the University of Essex, now clearly shows that engagement with green places is good for personal health.

"We thus conclude that there would be a large potential benefit to individuals, society and to the costs of the health service if all groups of people were to self-medicate more with what we at Essex call green exercise," she said.

"Gardening falls into this category - it is good for both mental and physical health, and all social and age groups benefit. It provides a dose of nature."

Gardener at work
Gardening is goof for both mental and physical health. Credit: PA Archive

Her comments follow a poll carried out for for Gardeners' World magazine that found that gardeners score higher than the average person on measures including how worthwhile they believe their life is and how satisfied they are with their life generally.

It found 80% of gardeners feel satisfied with their lives compared with 67% for non-gardeners, and 93% of gardeners think gardening improves their mood.

Three months of pampering produces massive water lily

by Claire McGlasson

After three months of painstaking pampering by experts, a giant water lily is taking pride of place at Cambridge University's Botanic Garden.

The Victoria Cruziana was named after Queen Victoria, when it was brought to this country from South America.

This tropical giant is now on show in all its splendour.

Click below to watch remarkable time-lapse footage of the lily growing

Horticulture students pass on gardening skills

Horticulture students from Writtle College pass on their skills
Horticulture students from Writtle College pass on their skills Credit: Writtle College

Horticulture students at Writtle College near Chelmsford have been passing on their green fingered skills to children from Writtle Junior School's Gardening Club.

They showed the children how to make sack gardens using recycled materials and planted them with salad crops.

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Chelsea win for Suffolk designer

Thomas Hoblyn's garden
Thomas Hoblyn's garden Credit: ITV Anglia

Suffolk designer Thomas Hoblyn has won silver gilt at the Chelsea Flower Show. His design for the Arthritis Research UK Garden had initially wanted to include red flowers, but the rain meant he couldn't get the colour he was after.

The garden's renaissance theme was suggested by the charity who wanted it to symbolise its new start as it heads towards its 75th anniversary.

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