Horticulture Week Podcast

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'Using nature to fix a faulty brain' - harnessing horticulture to improve well-being and treating garden centre workers right

Season 2, Ep. 6

After working and playing hard in noughties London, Perrywood Garden Centre's communications & HR director Hannah Powell turned to nature to heal after suffering from a "functional neurological disorder".


She tells the Horticulture Week podcast how "using nature to fix a faulty brain" and how "getting out into nature" was instrumental in her recovery and can be harnessed by everyone to improve their well-being.


Hannah returned to the Perrywood Tiptree garden centre and nursery in Essex where she grew up, got a degree in horticulture, and now dedicates herself to looking after the employees at Tiptree and the Perrywood Sudbury garden centre in Suffolk.


She talks about her new book The Cactus Surgeon which talks about the unique experience of growing up in a garden centre, but also how her experience has led her to value the mental and physical health of staff at the garden centres, offering free physio screenings to help prevent injuries, providing free counselling days, occupational health referrals and mental health awareness training for managers which has helped the company reduce sick days. Staff feel more valued and cared for, a factor that could also help with staff retention in a time of labour shortages.

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