Gardening is deeply relaxing. Sometimes there’s nothing better than rolling up your sleeves and spending a good afternoon digging and weeding. Before your eyes, an area of earth is transformed and that in itself makes us happy and gives us hope. Growing your own produce, whether that’s veg to have with dinner, fruit for your desserts or flowers to add vibrancy to your home and garden is so rewarding. Our retreats in Crete, Wales and Scotland, among others, know the importance of working on the earth and its stress-busting benefits. They also know nothing tastes better than home-grown new potatoes and tomatoes, or chillies from the plant in the greenhouse. Recent research has shown that gardening is an excellent all-round exercise for improving strength, endurance and flexibility, and can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other medical conditions. It’s also thought having our hands in soil can boost our levels of serotonin, the feelgood hormone, and reduce depression and anxiety. And the good news is, at the end of your gardening session or day on retreat, you can jump in the hot tub, or have a delicious treatment to relax you even more!