Stopping to smell the flowers, literally

Stopping to smell the flowers, literally


Spending time in nature improves your wellbeing, mental health and creativity

You know those days when everything’s just a bit meh? Today was one of those days for me. There was nothing in particular that was bothering me, I just felt out of sorts. I was plodding through my work half-heartedly which never feels great.


So, rather than plough on in the hope my mojo would magically appear from somewhere, I decided to get out of the house for a proper lunch break. Not 15 mins wolfing down a sandwich and cuppa while checking social media. A leave-the-house-to-go-smell-the-flowers break. I took myself off to a glorious place nearby called Penpont. It’s a 350-year-old house and estate with beautiful grounds, vegetable and flower gardens, a Christmas tree paddock, a green man maze, an honesty farm shop and the River Usk running through it. I’m so thankful we have such a place round the corner.


I had a lovely time wandering through the gardens, guessing which Christmas tree I might choose in six months’ time and admiring the fantastic range of vegetables, fruit and flowers growing in the Victorian walled gardens. I stopped to watch bees buzzing on flowers, to smell the beautiful pink roses, to say hi to the chickens, to breathe in everything that was growing and living around me. To just be, for a short while. Not thinking about what I had to do when I got home. Just savouring where I was right there and then. Letting it soak into my skin and soothe my soul.


And I made a couple of purchases from the farm shop too, of course. I came back home feeling heaps better and had quite a productive afternoon.

So, you may not have a Penpont in your neighbourhood but there will be a green space somewhere nearby. Next time you’re feeling flat take a walk and let nature surround and uplift you. Take in the details. Look at the petals on a flower, watch tree branches bob and sway, notice the smells and sounds and what you can feel on your skin – sun, wind or even rain. Leave the past and the future alone for just a few minutes and be in the present, absorbing everything that’s going on around you in that moment. Your workload and obligations aren’t going away but for that brief period of time they can take second place while you prioritise yourself. Breathe it in, soak it in. And then continue with your day.


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  1. Shalagh on 22nd June 2016 at 8:20 pm

    What an absolutely lovely way to spend an afternoon. Good for you Gabrielle! And yes, were we all so lucky to have this sort of place around the corner! Which means maybe it should be a monthly day treat for you lady.
    Love to you,

    • Gabrielle on 22nd June 2016 at 8:38 pm

      Thank you, Shalagh, I was there for about 30 minutes and even in that short time I felt a big difference. I’m so grateful that we have such a lovely place so nearby. There are pockets of green and nature to be found everywhere, it might just be a case of looking. When I worked in Hammersmith in London I found a little garden sandwiched between office blocks on the main road and I’d go to sit there and eat my lunch, read my book or just be. It kept me sane!

  2. Cath on 14th August 2016 at 10:51 pm

    A beautiful way to spend your lunch break. Good idea to step outside your usual routine for a pep up!

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