Google “gardening and cancer“, and you’ll be amazed at the long list of overwhelmingly positive results. At FFLB, we love practices that restore peace to both mind and body. While the list of benefits named by cancer patients is endless, here are some of gardening’s most impressive accolades:
3 in 4 gardeners surveyed said that gardening helped them manage feelings of depression and sadness during treatment, while over half of gardeners in another survey found more energy as a result of gardening during treatment. A third of gardeners in that survey also noted that gardening helped them manage weight gain in response to treatment.
The vast options for gardens’ contents also act as healing. If a patient doesn’t feel up to maintaining a full garden, a pot or windowsill box can still be beautiful daily treats. A garden might also act as a memorial for a loved one or friend. Whether you plant vegetables to encourage healthy eating or aromatic herbs to bring peace, gardens can provide something for every aspect of your journey with cancer.
If you don’t have a green thumb, gardening can still enhance your journey. Restorative gardens, sometimes specific for cancer patients, are designed using therapeutic techniques and activities. Patients and their loved ones can find mental peace in these gardens, often with opportunities like art therapy, meditation and yoga. Some gardens even have “plant-free” sections for patients who must avoid allergens. This article lists some of the best restorative gardens in the world. Nearby, be sure to try City of Hope in Duarte’s Argyros Family and Japanese Gardens. They look peaceful and calming! Although they aren’t specifically for cancer patients, The Huntington Gardens and Descanso Gardens make great healing spots right near FFLB.
Want to plan your own garden? We suggest you plant lavender, rosemary, oregano, carrots, spinach or wildflowers. They’re all easy to maintain and beautiful, too!