How Does Your Garden Grow

Enjoying the fruits of their labours, the Gardening Group at Livilands Resource Centre in Stirling celebrated three years of digging and weeding with a delicious spread of cakes and pastries.

The group has totally transformed two outdoor areas which they say looked like a jungle with overgrown weeds and grass when the building first opened. An advert on the staff intranet for an unwanted greenhouse produced results and the small team spent the first 18 months trying to put it back together again after they first dismantled it!

Now they grow tomatoes, red peppers, sunflowers, carrots and onions which they transfer to outdoor planters. This year’s crop was so tasty a selection was parcelled in cellophane to become a raffle prize!

Mental Health Support Worker Jacqui Hussar says working in a green space has amazing outcomes for everyone who attends. She explained: “There is a strong link between spending time outdoors and fighting depression. Being green-fingered helps build emotional resistance and encourages team work. It also allows people to make new friends and lessens isolation and loneliness.”

The ‘garden party’ was also attended by representatives from Branching Out, a project which offers a wide range of woodland activities for people experiencing mental health problems.