Now that the weather is starting to improve, people everywhere are going outside to do some gardening. Doctors and psychologists say that gardening is one of the best hobbies for everyone – especially young people! Many children and teenagers prefer to stay indoors in front of a screen or their telephone, and gardening offers the perfect opportunity for them to get back into contact with nature. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Gardening encourages children to care about the environment and appreciate their surroundings.
  • It gives them hands-on experience with the things they are studying at school.
  • They learn teamwork, organisational skills and creativity.
  • Fresh air and physical activity help get rid of stress and tiredness.

Author Frances Hodgson Burnett knew the value of gardens for children when she wrote her famous novel, The Secret Garden, in 1911. It tells the story of how Mary Lennox, a spoilt little girl, goes to live with her uncle in Yorkshire when her parents die in India. She explores the grounds of his enormous house and discovers a secret garden which has been locked up for years. As she cares for the garden, Mary learns to care for other people too and discovers the true meaning of friendship.


Ready for some practice?

Answer keys.

Illustration by Chiara Fedele, taken from The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett, Reading & Training Life Skills Step 2 (B1.1)