It's National Stress Awareness Day

Today marks National Stress Awareness Day and we’d like to share with you the power of plants in combatting stress.

Gardening can bring many benefits to both our mental and physical health. A great excuse to get outside, gardening helps us to connect with nature, enjoy the fresh air and soak in the sunlight. Getting outside in the garden where you can stretch those limbs and exercise while you dig, plant and pick, is an excellent form of stress relief from physical exercise. Start wrestling with the weeds instead of the frustrations or stresses from your busy week.

From improving sleep, to breaking up a busy schedule, being outside in nature can bring peace, mindfulness, and calm in the face of stress. Taking the time to create a space where you can relax and enjoy your surroundings can be a great way to relieve stress. Growing and nurturing the space around you can be such a rewarding process, filling you with productivity and pride.

Beautiful Borders sign photo

With a Flower Power theme, many of the Beautiful Borders at BBC Gardeners’ World Live Special Edition 2021 had mental health and healing at their heart.

Here, we’ll share the inspiration behind some of these designs, with a wealth of fantastic ideas that you can use to harness the power of gardening in your own space…

Reflect and bloom orange flowers
reflect and bloom water trough

Reflect and Bloom by Katie Smith

Katie wanted to bring a garden of self-reflection and personal growth to shine the spotlight on the astonishing power of natural spaces and vibrant colours to mental wellbeing. When we look after ourselves mentally, we allow ourselves to bloom.

Taking the time to reflect can be a great way to reduce stress. Whether you’re watering your houseplants or weeding in your garden, make sure you set aside this time to clear your mind, reset and reflect.

Health and relaxation border

Health and Relaxation Border by Chris Sellars

This border showcased the power of plants and how they can offer both physical and mental health benefits. Using a white flower theme, medicinal herb planters and a water feature, the aim of Chris’ design was to create a setting that encourages people to step into the border and relax on the bench.

Relax in a quiet space in your garden – using seating can be a great way to frame garden features and create a tranquil environment to alleviate stress.

Make do and mend bug hotel
Make do and mend hut

Make Do and Mend by Andy Wright

Andy Wright’s border was built with the help of a number of patients undergoing military rehabilitation. The sensory use of plants and the stimulation of the senses, such as touch, smell and sound can not be overstated in the process of healing and finding calm.

Pause for a moment in your garden and think about what you can hear, smell and feel.

Earth smiles with flowers water trough

The Earth Smiles with Flowers by Jessica Nicholls

Are we really looking after nature or is nature looking after us?

Jessica’s garden was created as an inspired representation of a calming passage to mimic a wildlife friendly rustic cottage garden walkway. A reclaimed water trough provided peacefulness in a moment of reflection while the rich colour palette, scent and the sounds of wildlife, inspired visitors to take time to breathe and reset.

Create your own haven at home to relax in by planting flowers in a colour palette that inspires you -now is a great time to plot bulbs to bloom in Spring. Use a bowl or upcycled water trough to encourage nature to your spot.

Garden envy Kate Mason

Garden envy by Kate Mason

Gardening, plants, flowers and outdoor spaces proved to be a very valuable asset to each of us in the lockdowns of 2020. Taking the time to relax and enjoy the garden gave the opportunity to find peace in stressful times, gave people the power to heal, practice mindfulness, regain self-confidence, feed themselves and to succeed.

At the Special Edition, Kate’s garden was all about making gardening and its power accessible to everyone, and with just one click away. You can read about Kate’s journey building her border and how you can recreate elements of it in your own space here.

christine mulinda border

Blooming Apothecary by Christine Mulinder

Apothecary began as an ancient form of dispensing medicines for ailments. In this border, apothecary was celebrated in a showcase of flowering garden plants that had the power to heal and support wellbeing.

While plants have the ability to heal physically, gardening can also be healing mentally. Watching and waiting for your plants to grow and bloom can be rewarding and rejuvenating. Find out what you could be planting this November here.

Lynn Cordall border

The Power of Plants is Everything by Lynn Cordall

At BBC Gardeners’ World Live Special Edition, Lynn’s border aimed to show that even in small space, the power of flowers can enclose and provide an escape from the busy world while taking care of many species. Using a blue/purple colour palette and rustling grasses, Lynn’s border was a haven of calm, appealing to the senses and the bees!

Wildlife in the garden is not only good for the environment, but good for the mind. Having a buzz of activity around your flowers can be a great way to stimulate your senses and add sound to your garden space.

Creating a space to grow and relax can do wonders in helping to manage mental wellbeing and stress. We hope that the fantastic Beautiful Borders from the Special Edition have given you some ideas for your own space at home.

Interested in bringing a Beautiful Border to BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2022? 

This year’s theme is all about Wild Life! Be it garden ecosystems and habitats, the beauty of untamed natural planting, a garden space to let your hair down in, or a fierce colour palette – go wild with your inspiration and let your creativity flow! 

We want to know what Wild Life means to you. Find out more here.

Get in touch with Lucy Tremlett at Lucy.Tremlett@immediate.co.uk or telephone the office on 0207 150 5130.

Apply now to bring a Wild Life Beautiful Border to BBC Gardeners' World Live
Find out more about the Beautiful Borders, unique to the Show