Health reasons for using the garden and greenhouse

Aside from the increased levels of vitamin D derived from spending more time in the sun, gardeners get other benefits that they might not immediately notice.

New research has shown that gardening can be a great way to boost hand strength due to the fact that it provides almost constant exercise for the hands.

The Kansas State University study showed that a number of other benefits helped keep gardeners in shape too.

"One of the things we found is that older adults who are gardeners have better hand strength and pinch force, which is a big concern as you age," said professor of horticulture Candice Shoemaker, who co-wrote the study.

"Theres a lot of natural motivation in gardening. For one thing, you know theres a plant youve got to go out and water and weed to keep alive.

"If we get the message out there that older adults can get health benefits from gardening, theyll realise that they dont have to walk around the mall to get exercise."

Aside from weight control and the benefit of improved movement of the hands, working on the land and in the greenhouse can boost the sense of wellbeing and achievement in gardeners.