08 Mar 2023

RHS studies wellbeing in gardens

The idea is not new, there is already a lot of research about the impact of gardens on our mental health and wellbeing. But the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is taking a step further by developing a ‘wellbeing blueprint’ at the experimental garden in Wisley, Surrey.


The garden is split into many sections with different coloured flowers and scents to determine the specific effects plants and flowers have on people.


Colours such as blue and green can have a soothing effect while warmer tones have the power to energise us, and this can also be said about scents.


General information about this can be found online based on ancient Ayurvedic medicine, but contemporary investigation is still relatively scarce.


This scientific research, led by Dr Lauriane Chalmin-Pui, will help us understand further what the garden arouses in people and can help schools and hospitals maximising the potential of their green spaces to enhance wellbeing.


Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, the scientist said that “for someone who is anxious, maybe they do need something as calming as possible. But actually, sometimes if you’re feeling depressed, you probably don’t need that, maybe you need something to uplift you.”


Chalmin-Pui is analysing the whole range of human emotions and how they can be evoked through specific colours and smells in the garden. Her findings will be published later this year. If you’re visiting Wisley in the coming weeks don’t miss the opportunity of visiting Royal Roots.


Starting on 20 March, the first day of spring in 2023, it’s the first temporary exhibition in the Old Laboratory’s Wisley Gallery celebrating the long association between the royal family and RHS. It features a beautiful collection of watercolours signed by royal patrons for over 200 years, including Prince Albert, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and King Charles III. The exhibition ends on 26 May.



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