Savvy Advice From Cicero

A metal silver hanging ornament in the shape of a leaf reading 'If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need', Cicero quote

The Roman statesman Cicero certainly knew what he was talking about, especially when it came to gardening and reading.

My friend sent me the lovely gift above. Wise words indeed! We’re both bookish and love our gardens, in fact we’ve been known to text each other with our thoughts while watching “Gardeners’ World” on a Friday night!

Both gardening and reading are rather solitary pursuits and that’s no bad thing. Who doesn’t need a little bit of head space now and again?

Down To Earth

Whether you have a garden or some houseplants, the key thing is nurturing and patience. You get rewards from looking after plants, even if you need to wait a while.

Gardening builds your self-esteem. It teaches you that things may not always go your way, but when they do it feels amazing. No gardener has a 100% success rate, not even Monty Don!

Tending to your plants reduces stress as it gives you something to focus on and that clears your mind, even briefly.

It gets you outside in the sunlight. This makes your body produce vitamin D . . . just don’t forget your sunscreen.

Gardeners are naturally chatty and friendly! We like nothing better than comparing notes and sharing cuttings.

You’ve finished your weeding and watering, and now it’s time to open a book! This is even better if it’s not raining and you can sit in your garden.

Do Not Disturb

Every part of our body needs exercise to stay healthy, and the same goes for our brain. Reading gives it regular exercise and keeps it healthy and sound.

What better way to switch off from the world and any worries than by immersing yourself in a book. Stress can account for 60% of adult illnesses so taking time out to disappear into a reading bubble can help keep anxiety at bay.

Studies show that it can increase our emotional intelligence as we understand a range of perspectives and motivations. This means you will great at Wordle and crosswords!

Vocabulary expansion and strengthens your writing abilities . . . which is exactly what you need to submit your stories to us!

Read more from the “Friend” team.


Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!