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Encouraging planting in urban front gardens: a focus group study

Frost, RH and Murtagh, N (2023) Encouraging planting in urban front gardens: a focus group study. Perspectives in Public Health, 143 (2). pp. 80-88. ISSN 1757-9139

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Aims: Encouraging planting in front gardens offers mental and physical health benefits, as well as positive local environmental impacts such as reducing flood risk and improving air quality. However, urban front garden greenery has reduced in recent years. We aimed to explore adults’ views regarding planting greenery in front gardens, barriers and facilitators, and their understanding of health and environmental impacts, to identify appropriate intervention mechanisms for behaviour change. Methods: We carried out five online focus groups with 20 participants aged 20–64 in England, purposively sampled for variation according to age, gender, home ownership, income, ethnicity and residing in an urban or suburban area. We audio recorded each focus group, transcribed it verbatim and analysed transcripts using thematic analysis. Results: Front gardening was a relaxing activity that provided benefits including increased wellbeing, fresh air and vitamin D. Planting in front gardens depended heavily on available time and space, garden orientation, local security and the weather. Front gardens could be a place for social interaction. Participants tended to prioritise neatness and tidiness over greenery. Lack of knowledge and low self-efficacy were key barriers. There was little awareness of the environmental benefits of front garden greenery; however, reducing flood risk and encouraging biodiversity were viewed positively. Conclusion: Initiatives to encourage front garden planting should focus on plants that require little knowledge to acquire and care for, are suitable to the local environmental conditions and with a visual impact of neatness and bright colour. Campaigns should draw attention to local flood risk reduction and increasing biodiversity, in addition to personal health benefits.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Focus Groups; Environment; Adult; Gardening; Gardens; Ethnicity; environment and public health; gardens; health behaviour; qualitative research; Adult; Humans; Gardens; Gardening; Focus Groups; Environment; Ethnicity; 1117 Public Health and Health Services; Public Health
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Nursing & Allied Health
Publisher: SAGE Publications
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2023 11:45
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2024 10:16
DOI or ID number: 10.1177/17579139231163738
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22024
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