Mental Health improved by untidy gardens, claims designer

One of the designers exhibiting at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, has said that a wild, untidy garden is better for a person’s mental health than a neat and tidy one.

Matt Keightley, creator of the RHS Feel Good Garden, claimed that perfect, geometric shapes can cause stress and, as a result, the messy, wild look was more beneficial for mental health.

Mr Keightley, whose exhibition garden this year was specifically commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society, also said that the herb rosemary was his top pick of plants to aid mental health due to its fragrance.

Speaking to the BBC’s Jeremy Vine about his Feel Good Garden, the award-winning horticulturalist said: “It’s a planting that has quite organic and quite natural form. And the idea behind that is rather than geometry and straight lines – you don’t want people to feel forced through the garden, they need to feel compelled to move into it and meander round it at their own pace, and feel at complete ease when they move through the garden.”

Continuing on the topic of mental health, Mr Keightley highlighted the benefits of trees: “Something that’s really important is the structure of the trees. People might suffer from depression or a lack of confidence or simply stress or anxiety – for a garden to work for those kind of people we need to make them feel secure…and these trees do that, they create a bit of security on top of you without blocking views through the garden.”

This year’s show was won by first time designer, Chris Beardshaw.

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