Waverley Road residents stage community gardening competition
- Credit: EiB
Inspired by the interest and street camaraderie when gardening during the pandemic last year, the residents of Waverley Road in Exmouth had the brilliant idea of organising their own gardening competition, complete with a trophy for the winning entry.
The organisers, friends and neighbours Penny and Lara, contacted Exmouth in Bloom for a ‘bit of advice’ and to ask if there might be someone able to judge their competition. Exmouth in Bloom not only jumped at the chance but also suggested that as well as entering individual categories, the road could enter into the ‘Community Effort’ section in the EiB Local Gardening Competition.
At the recent launch of the Exmouth in Bloom competition at Kings Garden and Leisure, Penny got a real boost and support from the town crier, Exmouth’s mayor and from owner Richard King, for the Great Waverley Road Garden Competition.
More than 20 houses in the road have already entered and the list is growing.
Marion Drew, Chair of Exmouth in Bloom, said: “What a great idea. Well done, Waverley Road!”
There’s growing evidence that gardening can benefit our mental health, an important consideration at a time when the NHS is stretched and one in four adults are experiencing mental illness.
Research in Sweden, for example, found that the more people used their gardens, the fewer incidents of stress they suffered.
And a report in the Mental Health Journal cited gardening as being able to reduce stress and improve mood, with a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety.
While gardens can be relaxing, they can also be places where our efforts result in a real sense of achievement, boosting confidence and self-esteem.
There’s also good evidence that just looking at a green space has positive effects on people’s mental health, helping them relax and de-stress.
Gardening has so much potential for people with defined mental health needs, offering an enormous range of activities and options, more so than any other type of therapeutic activity.
Clearly, the residents of Waverley Road believe they are onto a good thing – and the gardening competition may well encourage more people to become involved.