Ashridge Blog & Recipes

Happiness is a walk amongst trees

Look after your mental wellbeing by walking in the great outdoors and amongst trees. Even young trees can be a source of great joy and inspiration.

Stourhead Gardens The beautiful Stourhead gardens in Wilshire

We went for a walk with the dogs around Stourhead in Wiltshire today, parking the car at the top of the Six Wells Bottom valley where the streams that feed Stourhead’s lake start. Famous for its 200-year-old tree collection, Stourhead is a garden that works all year around. It made us consider the longevity of trees and the old proverb: “a man who is truly at his happiest is the one who plants a tree under which he does not sit”. When the 50 or so gardeners started work on the gardens in the 1700s, which of them ever considered it would be giving so many people so much pleasure to so many generations, several centuries later?

But we were also reminded recently that even young trees can be a source of wellbeing and happiness during a conversation we had with garden writer and founder of the Chelsea Fringe Festival Tim Richardson. He pointed out that “young trees grow faster than we realise and are very beautiful". He made reference to the legendary forester Alan Mitchell, who said "he preferred young trees because it is as if they are displaying their jewellery to you through its leaves. You can enjoy them in a more intimate way.” So no matter your age, you can enjoy trees in your own lifetime. Check our wonderful range and get planting, especially now that it is Tree-bilee year, celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee!

Newly planted Himalayan birch trees Newly planted Himalayan birch trees

Mitchell took up a career in trees after serving in the Second World War. It must have been his way of getting over its horrors, which is a reminder of how much solace we can seek in trees and how good they are not just for climate change but for our mental health and sense of wellbeing. Certainly, judging from the smiles we saw on the number of visitors we came across at Stourhead while we were there, it would seem true.

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