HEALTH & HEALING

The burgeoning trend in wellness is set to be even bigger in 2019, spurring a new desire to garden both for physical and mental benefits and to reap the rewards of healthy, home-grown produce.

A greater interest and commitment towards healthy eating, fitness and plant-based diets is at the root of the trend, with veganism on the rise and Brits becoming more conscious than ever about health for the mind, body and soul.

Garden therapy

It’s no secret that gardening makes people feel good. With the extended summer of 2018, gardeners enjoyed a much longer season outdoors than usual, helping to keep activity levels high and combat signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Gardeners report a huge sense of satisfaction from the mental and physical perks of undertaking gardening projects, particularly restoring neglected
gardens or creating new ones from scratch.

More than 75% of gardeners feel a sense of accomplishment when tending to their gardens, while 70% say gardening makes them feel calm and relaxed.

“We’ve witnessed a rise in demand for m simple projects that can be achieved by gardeners of all ages and abilities. This year we launched a series of one-hour projects for customers,
which spurred a 50% increase in sales of pots and similar products. Our ‘Little Diggers’ product range, which is designed to encourage children to garden, has also doubled in growth
over the last three years”

Mark Sage,

Head of Horticulture, Wyevale Garden Centres

There’s an increasing drive to get children into gardening early, growing their own fruit and vegetables as a way of encouraging them to enjoy a healthier diet. Wyevale Garden Centres’ half-term Little Diggers craft events saw a 91% uplift in visits in 2018, while the newly launched and free ‘learning to grow’ events welcomed hundreds of children in April alone. The educational initiative invites children to grow their own fruit and veg, with the 2019 range expanding to include rainbow carrots, rainbow Swiss chard, mini courgettes, mini cucumbers and other interesting, easy-to- grow edibles.

It is evident that, for all age groups, a sense of enjoyment comes from growing tasty produce, especially when the plant offers multiple health and wellbeing properties in return.

25-34 year olds are the most likely age group to purchase a plant for its health and wellbeing properties.

A gardening project for how to create a ‘mini garden kitchen in a pot’ generated one of the most engaged-with posts on Wyevale Garden Centres’ social media channels in 2018, showing the desire for fresh ingredients to be grown right next to where they’ll be served. Herbs are savouring the moment, with over two thirds of Brits growing plants in their kitchens. An essential ingredient for the wellness trend, they
are often used in cooking, for herbal teas, or simply for their aroma. Chamomile and mint are two of the nation’s go-to brews, while lavender is favoured for its calming properties.

Plant protein

Brits are becoming more conscious of what they are eating and where it is coming from. The rising number of vegans, vegetarians and ‘flexitarians’ (vegans/vegetarians who sometimes switch up their diet to include meat) shows a greater interest in plant-based diets and the benefits they bring, with the vegan movement set to be more prevalent
than ever in 2019. With this in mind, the UK’s thriving ‘Grow Your Own’ sector is set to surge in interest…

Nutrient-rich vegetables gained significant ground in 2018, with sales set to grow. This has influenced Wyevale Garden Centres to bring together a vegan range high in iron, calcium and proteins for 2019, to include:

Watercress
Spinach
Bok Choi
Asparagus
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cauliflower
Peas
Kale

“Many dark-coloured, leafy green vegetables are rich in nutrients and contain high levels of protein, and for this reason are popular additions to the veg patch or window box for
health-conscious gardeners.”

Patrick Wall,

Plant Buyer, Wyevale Garden Centres

Air purifying plants

As well as improving interiors, a plantfilled environment helps people to work more effectively and improve their sense of wellbeing, which is paramount for the future as Brits are spending more time than ever indoors and in office environments. As a result, they are turning to houseplants as a solution, with air-purifying plants seeing a huge uplift in sales. Delicate looking but easy-to-maintain, the plants help to clean the air of toxins while offering an attractive desk buddy for the home or workplace.

Google searches for ‘air-purifying plants’ grew by 63% in 2018 compared to the previous year.

“Air-purifying plants are fairly low maintenance and offer a more natural, cost effective and therapeutic means to tackle indoor air pollution compared to an electric purifier. They often have exotic and interesting foliage that brings instant impact to every room and has made them incredibly popular
on social media.”

Ciara Sheridan,

Houseplants Buyer, Wyevale Garden Centre

The five most popular air-purifying plants

1

Peace lilies

2

Spider plants

3

Fiddle-leaf fig

4

Ferns

5

Aloe vera