Make the Great Escape at Chelsea, for the good of your health

HTA's The Great Escape artist's impression

Who's off to the Chelsea Flower Show this week? Obviously it's a celebration of the goodness of gardens, but one in particular shines a sunny spotlight on the benefits of outdoor space.

The Great Escape garden has been designed by horticulturalist and broadcaster Chris Collins and presented by the Horticultural Trades Association, and is all about the educational, health and wellbeing advantages of gardens.

Check out the Orb Den, a kitchen garden featuring micro-crops, a compost robot, solar panels and a bug hotel; the Urban Garden full of pots, hanging baskets, bird boxes and a hedgehog house; and the Outdoor Gym with exercise equipment and tools to get stuck in. And, after all that, relax in the Summer House.

There's an emphasis on kids getting involved – ahead of National Children's Gardening Week from May 26th to June 3rd – and the health benefits for all the family. The HTA notes that children are more likely to eat fruit and vegetables if they help to grow them, and with low-intensity gardening burning 250 calories per hour they'll probably want a snack anyway. Asthma is almost a quarter less prevalent in residential areas that are 90 per cent described as 'green' as well, the HTA says.

"This year, situated in the Discovery Zone, we have a great opportunity to educate, engage and inspire the public on the benefits of plants and gardening," comments Adam Taylor, HTA President.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs until Saturday May 26th.

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