Health, happiness and horticulture

Find out how your garden can become a haven of health and happiness


Health, happiness and horticulture

The RHS Greening Grey Britain campaign is raising awareness of the positive impact that gardens and gardening have on people’s health and happiness, and this year's theme champions the health and wellbeing benefits of greening-up our grey spaces.

The theme was incorporated in several designs at Chelsea this year. Chris Beardshaw’s Show Garden was relocated to the heart of Great Ormond Street Hospital after the show as a therapeutic space for the parents of young patients, while The Garden Bed garden provided a green space for hospice patients.

But you don't need to create a Show Garden to feel the benefits – there were some great ideas at the show on how your own green spaces can make you happier and healthier.

How to make your garden happier and healthier

Bird feedersWildlife gardening

Bird feeders and bird baths transform the garden and come in many attractive styles to suit any situation. Bug and hedgehog houses are becoming more decorative and can add little pieces of magic to the most barren corner of your patch. The RHS Greening Grey Britain feature garden had some great ideas.

water featureWater features

Visually appealing in a multitude of forms, a water feature will add a tranquillity to your garden. The splash of fountains and waterfalls can add a dimension of sound that makes even the humdrum roar of passing traffic seem less invasive.

eremurusFlowers and plants

Colour and scent make every day in the garden a magical one and with the immense variety of plants available these days, you’re sure to find something that fits in with your lifestyle. The Great Pavilion had many different plants available from leading nurseries.

rooftop vegetable gardeningKitchen gardening

Nurseries are constantly working to bring us plants that are not only edible but also attractive as they grow, and don’t forget that a flower cutting garden will also make an impact among the vegetables. Kids love vegetable gardening and it's a great way to get them involved.

healthy gardeners standGet fit in the garden

If you were unsure about just how beneficial gardening can be to your health, our Discovery Zone at the Chelsea Flower Show showed just how good gardening is. ‘Healthy gardens, healthy gardeners’ by Coventry University explored how gardening can be a form of exercise.

frog sculptureStatuary and art

Garden art can bring a smile to your face be it grand or whimsical. There was certainly a great choice at Chelsea this year, and whatever your budget, there was something for you to take home.

More information

Get ideas from the Show Gardens
Greening Grey Britain
Audio and slideshows from the Health and Horticulture Conference 2016
Take Chelsea home
Watch this video about Health, Happiness and Horticulture at Chelsea


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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.