There is lots of anecdotal evidence of the benefits of gardening to our wellbeing, but in 2015 the National Garden Scheme commissioned the Kings Fund to carry out research that would put some evidence to those claims and contribute to the understanding of the link between gardening and health.
They found half of the adult population in England report being involved in gardening, and it is an important activity throughout our lives, reaching a peak just after retirement. But not just older people garden, increasing numbers of younger adults also want to grow food. This is one reason for excess demand for allotments and parents value gardens as play and discovery spaces for their children.
In well-designed studies, allotment gardening has been found to improve mood. Gardening can help reduce stress, calm our minds as we switch off and not have to focus attention through work which can be exhausting. Gardening also provides social connections which is linked to improvements in mental health.
My love of gardening and interest in wellbeing is what bought me to create Walk Mill Botanics as I wanted natural beauty products that are ethical and environmentally friendly.
All our shea butter is from communities in Ghana where women harvest shea nuts to produce butter. They are paid a fair wage and the profits are invested into education and community development programmes. It is then added into my products by an ethical business that employs people from disadvantaged communities in Scotland.
To look after our environment, all our containers are made from recycled materials and our seeded paper is made from recycled jeans and impregnated with flower seeds.
To look after your skin, each product is formulated with plant based ingredients and botanicals and contains no SLS or Parabens. Finally, we are kind to animals and would never test our products on them.
I would like to thank my panel of testers, all gardeners who put the products through their paces, dug deep and gave me the following feedback. I wish to thank: the team of gardeners at Garden Angels in Stafford, Elizabeth Morris, my mother a gardener on a Scottish estate on Islay, Pat Evans… and of course, my partner Les, who is a keen gardener and thoroughly tests all my products. I’d also like to thank my daughters, Megan and Rhiannon who have given me honest feedback along the way, and my grandfather who inspired my love of gardening.