If you're feeling stressed, take up gardening. Well, that's what I hear, anyway. That's the takeaway from a new study out of the University of Florida, whose researchers proved the point with a pilot program.

Breaking dozens of healthy ladies into two groups - one instructed to participate in art projects and the other to get their thumbs green - the researchers noticed that both groups reported a reduction in their stress levels at the end of their twice-weekly sessions.

However, the gardeners had a lot less anxiety and depression levels than their arty counterparts, possibly due in part being out in the good old nature. The findings work well with other studies that showed that just being out in nature calms you down.

"We believe this research shows promise for mental well-being, plants in health care and in public health," noted study author Charles Guy, a professor of the university's environmental horticultural department.

What's more, many of the people in the gardening group,  who were newbies when it comes to this stuff,  said they wanted to keep up the hobby after the study was done. SO, do you want to learn a little something and get happier in the process, to take this to the next level?

I've got ya.

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The Missouri Extension is having a big event to learn about ways to deal with summer pest bugs and plant diseases you may come across in your garden. They'll meet this Saturday, July 16 from 10;00 a.m. to noon on the porch of the Blue Springs Historical Garden (101 South 15th Street, Blue Springs, MO). Now you do have to register for this event beforehand (you know, so they have enough time and space for everybody), but again, it's free. You can email Tamra Reall at reallt@missouri.edu to get registered or for questions and such.

I meanwhile, will stay indoors in the AC and be a lazy bum.  But you do you.

Gardneningly yours,

Behka

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