The Well Gardened Mind

by Sue Stuart-Smith

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About Book

This inspirational and authoritative book on mental health and physical labour teaches us how vital gardening can be as an escape for the brain and how having green fingers can help our minds through action as well as thought. Gardening is one of the quintessential nurturing activities. For many people, apart from having children and raising a family, the process of creating or tending a plot is one of the most significant things in their lives. With the natural rituals of growth, decay and regeneration, safety and enclosure, destruction and renewal, it is as if - alongside the physical activity - we are also gardening our minds. And yet we understand so little about it.The Well Gardened Mind investigates how an immersion in gardening can affect our inner worlds, both consciously and unconsciously, and how it can help us to find or re-find our place in the world. The garden is intrinsically linked to our capacity for self-reflection and creative thinking. Current horticultural projects work with general mental health problems as well as specific ones, including addiction, asylum seeking and PTSD. Combining contemporary neuroscience and psychoanalysis with compelling real life stories, prominent psychiatric-psychotherapist Sue Stuart-Smith shows how many of the physical and mental processes involved in gardening are ones that are recognised as facilitating neural change.