The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Let's talk up the 'Natural' Health Service - Helen Shepherd, Radiotheraphy Advanced Practitioner

28 April 2021

This National Gardening Week (26 April - 2 May) we are hearing from members of staff at LTHT how a dose of 'Vitamin G' has helped reduce stress and improve personal wellbeing during difficult times. Today we are hearing from Helen Shepherd, Radiotheraphy Advanced Practitioner.

Helen: I have always had a keen interest in gardening, but have had limited opportunity to be able to let it come to full fruition until the last three years when I got my own garden. This last year has most definitely increased my chance to spend time developing my knowledge of plants and gardening, and I most certainly feel my skills have improved.

Helen ShepherdThe benefits to me have been immense as I find it calming to be outside in the fresh air, at one with nature, but it is also great exercise. To see the wildlife increasing in the garden as it becomes more established is wonderful. It is also great to be able to share the produce and plants with others. It is certainly something to look forward to, to be able to see things grow and have it looking good when friends and family can come and visit.

Our visit to Harlow Carr last week was a wonderful experience, the RHS staff were so lovely and interesting to talk to, it was very kind of them to spend so long with us. It was good to see how each of us from LTHT had similar enthusiasm for our gardens and a desire to learn how to improve our planting experience.

For me, the use of the willow as plant supports and arches was great, this is something I would be keen to use in my garden. Previously I always thought of Harlow Carr, and other such gardens, as places to visit rather than a means of support so it was really interesting to hear about the online advice mechanisms that are available, and also that the staff are really keen to interact with the public.