Doing it for the good of your health

Gardening is becoming a popular and trendy hobby for people of all ages, with many Brits being encouraged to take up their trowels and plant their way through the credit crunch.

But its easy to forget the traditional benefits of gardening; being at one with nature; improving you sense of wellbeing and relaxing yourself, keeping health problems in check.

Secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs Hilary Benn has backed "grow your own" gardening campaigns but points out that there are health and wellbeing benefits as well as financial.

"For relaxation, I do gardening. Mind you my duty is to see to the lawn," he explained while attending the Dig For Victory allotment in St Jamess Park, London.

"But over the past 20 years I have regularly planted oak trees, and some of them are now twice my height.

"You only have to look at this place to see what home grown food can be produced, and what it could mean to better your health."

Gardening has been said to help alleviate blood pressure caused by stress, while the physical exercise can help ward off osteoporosis in women.