London – Perhaps it’s the tweeting of the birds, the rustle of the trees or simply the satisfaction of looking at a perfectly manicured lawn.
For our gardens are where we feel happiest at home, a study has found.
Researchers said that these little oases helped restore a feeling of well-being more than living rooms or other outdoor spaces such as balconies or terraces.
And they discovered the more plants there are, and the bigger the garden, the greater the effect.
A team at the Medical University of Vienna asked 811 people aged between 16 and 82 to rate how relaxing or restorative different areas of their homes felt.
The team found that a garden’s ability to make people happier affected women, men, older people and youngsters equally.
Writing in the journal Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, the researchers suggest that “because of seasonal changes, garden work might further be perceived as more diverse and accordingly more stimulating compared to household work”.
They also suggest that “a beautiful garden, designed to one’s needs and inclinations, might stimulate detachment from work and thereby foster individual’s ability to cope with the burdens of daily hassles”.
The study found being in a garden allows “stimulation of the senses, the possibility to interact with nature, the experience of positive emotions, the restoration of impaired mental resources, and satisfaction with seeding, caring and harvesting of garden products”.