ASHS Logo Involving one’s self in horticultural activities like gardening appears beneficial in the health terrain. A groundbreaking study asserts that gardening and related activities improve mood and the environment. It was suggested that engaging in gardening and related activities is advantageous for both psychological as well as environmental reasons.

While conducting the study, experts employed qualitative and quantitative methods to assay participants’ attitudes toward horticultural activities. The first study included seven themes and innumerable subthemes of attitudes that were encouraged from open-ended interviews with study subjects. On the basis of the interview results, a questionnaire was made and a quantitative survey was commenced for figuring out the dimensions of attitudes toward horticultural activities. Five apparently critical ‘dimensions of attitudes’ toward horticultural activities were extracted. These comprised heightened positive mood, improvement in environment, leisure belief, enhancing social relationships, and an attitude the study terms as ‘escaping’.

Volunteers rated the dimension of ‘increasing positive mood’ highest, indicating an emphasis on psychological benefits like feeling glad, pleased, optimistic, relaxed, tranquil, and comfortable as the essence of their attitudes toward horticultural activities. Hui-Mei Chen and colleagues claim that getting involved in horticultural activities can offer opportunities to forget worries, transfer attention, experience another way of life, or ‘escape’. The dimension of ‘escaping’ was rated in a dramatic way with strong emphasizes on the importance of getting in contact with nature. Also ‘improving the environment’ was rated as an important dimension of attitudes toward horticultural activities. It was concluded that horticultural activities are helpful for individuals as well as the environment.

The study was published in HortScience.