Sheds of all shapes, sizes and styles are once again featured in this year's Channel 4 Shed Of The Year competition, Nathan James Dodd reviews the categories and finalists.
In the middle of National Allotments Week, a survey has confirmed that gardening really is good for your health and Nathan James Dodd has been looking at its findings.
Over half of the respondents in a poll conducted by an online lawnmower supplier choose to garden as it's a 'satisfying and relaxing' activity.
The survey indicates that under 35s increasingly enjoy gardening, much of this interest due to the satisfaction of growing their own produce.
Mark Bartram, MD of Lawnmowers Direct says that younger people have voiced their opinions on food production and many are now aiming at self sufficiency.
Just under a fifth of all participants' gardens were found to be mostly vegetables or a vegetable patch was a significant part of the garden.
36% of respondents spent over three hours during the week in the garden, and and they will vouch for this being a far superior way to exercise and keep in shape than going to the gym.
Other reports back up the theory that gardening is one of the best activities to keep mind and body in good order. Just thirty minutes of gardening has been proved to lower your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and so is a great way to leave the cares of the world behind.
Perhaps more surprisingly a harmless bacteria in soil, called Mycobacterium vaccae is thought to boost your immune system.
Especially amongst individuals over 60, gardening helps to keep the brain healthy, requiring you to think, learn and be creative. There's no doubt that spending some time in the garden each day will enable you to relax and keep active at the same time.
Nathan James Dodd
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