As the nights get lighter and the days longer, many of us are enjoying getting out and about a little more frequently. One of the true joys of this time of year is seeing the array of beautiful spring flowers blooming outside, from bluebells to pansies to daffodils, in gardens, parks and town centres.
As always, the Royal Horticultural Society is keen to encourage the sowing of a variety of flowers and plants to ensure that we are able to enjoy vibrant floral displays all year round. One of the Society’s recent initiatives is the Grow Well in 2022 campaign, which aims to emphasise and share the wellbeing benefits and positive power of plants.
The campaign highlights the supportive role that growing and caring for plants can have in maintaining and improving our physical, social and mental health. It also acknowledges the importance of research around the link between gardening and better mental health, such as the ‘Gardens and Health’ report produced by the King’s Fund which was commissioned by the National Gardens Scheme.
The report includes recommendations for the NHS and organisations such as government departments and clinical commissioning groups to help them make more of potential health benefits that gardening can offer.
The Grow Well project encourages people to plant Calendula officinalis, otherwise known as pot marigolds. At the start of the scheme, free seed packs were offered, but although the deadline for application has now passed, RHS Communities is still promoting the sowing of these bright little flowers as we head towards summer 2022.
With valuable anti-inflammatory properties, the pot marigold has been used medicinally throughout history. It’s also popular amongst gardeners as a hardy plant which flowers throughout the summer and into the autumn until the arrival of the first hard frosts. The flowers take between 6-8 weeks to bloom and so it is suggested that early May is a good time to sow the seeds in time for the warmer summer months.
The RHS Grow Well initiative is also being promoted in schools as a way of raising awareness of the significant link between gardening and good mental health amongst the younger generation.
In keeping with the community ethos that the RHS encourages through schemes such as Britain in Bloom and It’s Your Neighbourhood, participants are encouraged to share their planting adventures on social media using the #GrowWell hashtag on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Pot marigolds, as the name suggests, grow well in containers such as Amberol’s self-watering planters and are a popular summer bedding choice due to their bright orange heads and the relative ease with which they can be grown. They brighten up beds, borders and containers and also attract pollinators, making them a great staple summer plant.
To find out more about the RHS Communities’ Grow Well campaign visit the Society’s website.
To find out more about Amberol’s self-watering planters and how they can help you to ‘Grow Well’, call 01773 830 930 or email email@example.com.