Meet the gardener with green fingers

A gardener has become an internet sensation for helping her follows overcome mental health issues by turning to their gardens. Ellen Mary, a social media influencer with nearly 13,000 followers, wants people to embrace their love of gardening and its health benefits. She offers remedies including the best plants to drink and tree hugging to "bring balance to your body and even help some illnesses." Ellen wrote on her Instagram: "So much of what I do is spreading the benefits that being with/working with/appreciating nature and plants can do for everyone's well-being. "You know...we are nature...we are part of the big beautiful planet we live on so understanding the natural world is essential for our mental health well-being. "It's super important to try and get outside, breathe the air, sow some seeds - whatever takes your fancy! "My happy place is with plants, no matter where, but down the allotment is right up there as close as it gets to the best place in the world. "If you suffer from mental health issues, the natural world, plants, gardening - it's all there for you, waiting for you to feel the connection and soothe your mind." The 41-year-old, who calls herself the vegan gardener, suffered from stress and anxiety after previously working in HR. She would often go to an allotment to garden at the end of a days work and found it was the best cure to help her mental health. Ellen, from Norwich, Norfolk said: "HR was busy and it was stressful. "It wasn't easy, so by the time I had reached 30 I thought life is too short to not be doing something that you don't love." Ellen, who also gardens at her local community garden, would head to the allotment every other day to help her distress. She has now turned it into a full-time career as this what she "loved most" presenting radio shows and writing columns. Ellen said: "With gardening everything goes, all the stress goes. When I used to garden after work every day and it would help to prepare my head for the next day. "Gardening is so good for you, it means that you are outside breathing in all the fresh air." Ellen, who works alongside her 'partner in plants' Michael Perry, said she hopes to educate people about the improvements it can make to mental and physical health. The gardener, from Norwich, Norfolk said: "It's the nurturing process. "The idea of social media influencing is all about spreading the well-being benefits of plants and gardening and nature overall. "Some people have been embarrassed to love plants and gardening. But social media has completely blown that theory out of the water. "So you can go online and see millions of people who love plants." Ellen now has a garden filled with plants, fruit and vegetables which include gooseberries, oregano, chamomile, cosmos, potatoes, squash, chillies. And she uses her Instagram and other social media platforms to educate people about the improvements it can make to mental and physical wellbeing. She added: "All I have ever done is post about my gardening, so my social media did start to grow from that. "It is very good for focusing, looking forward to what's going to happen. "Gardening teaches you patience, and I didn't have patience to start with that's for sure. It was watching something grow from the start to the end. "You are outdoors with the butterflies and bees. It is amazing. "I just want to talk about how people should be growing your own food, and the health benefits from it. "I just think that we are all have got this nature deficit disorder. We all need to spend more time with the plants or the garden as this is the perfect place to be." Ellen has been listed in the top five influencers in horticulture by Grow Your Own Magazine - helps anyone who produces their own fruit and vegetables in their own garden or allotment. She said: "It's a nurturing process. So it's very good for focusing. "It is great to watch a plant grow into something."

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