Hello! I’m a professional gardener, writer and a passionate photographer

obsessed with plants. I thrive in the great outdoors, finding plants growing in

their natural habitat and love sharing the therapeutic benefits of gardening.

I will always be in awe of planting seeds and watching them grow. From

sowing beans in jam jars as a kid to eating homegrown produce, gardening is

a wonder.

 

Soil contains the harmless bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae that releases

serotonin and dopamine, our brain’s natural anti-depressants, so gardening

can be tremendously beneficial to our wellbeing

.

I spent my early years in the Sussex countryside foraging nettles, chamomile,

exploring woods and finding wildflowers to press, growing up with strong

gardening and farming influences.

When our son was born we bought a house and suddenly had a space of our

own which meant we could put down roots! We transformed our abandoned

jungle and constructed raised beds, which quickly became my kitchen garden.

Precious times were had, getting dirty, digging holes and eating peas straight

from the pod.

Over the years I have fused my love of plants with the outdoors and walking in

nature has become an integral part of my life. It’s amazing how invigorating a hit of fresh air and

exercise is to get our endorphins pumping.

We can all feel like hibernating through winter but stick

on the thermals, waterproofs and embrace the elements.

It’s a guaranteed mood booster.

As soon as I step outside I feel a weight lift. Anxiety ebbs away and my focus

is absorbed in the surrounding environment. Whether it is in the garden or a

wood, hearing birdsong, seeing wildflowers grow or finding fungi, the

​experience is tremendously satisfying and relaxing. Look up and bathe in the

leafy canopy of trees. Take the time to use all your senses and appreciate the little things around us.

Look at the ever changing hues, listen to the crunch under foot of leaves and

gentle sound of rainfall, smell the scent of winter blooms, taste wild garlic and feel the texture of rough bark.

 

Trees emit ‘phytoncides,’ wood essential oils, which have a positive effect on our immune and nervous systems.

The more we connect and improve our

understanding of how we fit into the natural world, the more harmoniously we

can live. We are all part of this amazing ecosystem and our health can be

directly influenced by how we interact with it.

Walking in nature gives me time to think, step away from commitments and

concentrate on the changing season. It is also a great opportunity to chat

through ideas or issues.

I love taking photos and nature photography gives me the incentive to get

outside in all weathers and study plants and wildlife.

Get out for that invigorating walk and sleep well. Natural daylight helps

regulate melatonin levels, which controls our internal body clock so the more

time we spend indoors, the more lethargic we feel.

 

Spending time in a forest or park ‘forest bathing’ can lower cortisol stress

levels and blood pressure, improve concentration and memory.

Whether I am walking up a mountain or around my local wood

nature restores my motivation and energy.

I’ve just got to step outside.

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