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Gardening Is The Best Medicine For The Mind



January is the time of year when, for us gardeners, a small ray of hope breaks through the grey skies. Not long now, I think, until I can start chitting my potatoes. A few early daffodils have bravely poked their necks above the soil. I know the snowdrops will soon be on their way. Especially with the mild, wet winter we have had, spring seems just around the corner. But I know the truth. The inevitable will happen: the cold will return, February always feels long, and winter will hang around like some kind of chronic illness.

For those of us who suffer from mental health problems, winter can be a difficult time. I had my own nervous breakdown last year. This culminated in me unable to do my job – I had to take a month off work and was confined, for long periods of anxious black time, to my house. Anyone who has gone to battle with their own inner demons knows it is a terrifying fight. You feel isolated, confused, angry, and unable to make yourself understood (especially to yourself). With the help of therapy, medication, pages of self-help books, and the desire to feel “normal” again, I started on my long path to recovery. While it has been a difficult journey, nothing has lifted my spirits more, or has made me feel saner, than my garden. Working with my hands in the soil, sowing seeds, or simply cutting my grass has improved my mental health more than I can express. Though it may sound cliched, my garden has been my sanctuary.

Therefore for me, this winter has been particularly rough. As the days have darkened my mental state has also become bleaker. There have been some reports lately about how beneficial gardening is for mental health. Gardening combines some of the best advice given to people with mental health problems: exercise more, interact with nature, engage in activities you find meaningful, be creative, and seek out people who have similar interests. In short, gardening ticks numerous boxes when it comes to improving the outcomes for those of us who struggle psychologically.

I can’t agree more with those studies which suggest that gardening lifts the mood and decreases anxiety. Last year I chose a particularly good time to have a shattered mind (as if there is ever really any right time to lose your mind). It was spring. The air was just beginning to warm up as the days stretched out their long amber arms. I remember sitting on an old and splinted wooden bench in the back garden. The buds on a nearby field maple tree were ready to burst into leaf. That’s when I saw it: the first bumblebee of spring. It wasn’t an epiphany, but it made me smile. And I hadn’t done that in a long time.

While I was off work, I threw myself into my garden. I felt like the world around me was a dangerous sea and my garden was a little green life raft. I cut a new, long bed out of the grass. I worked the soil until I couldn’t find a sliver of weed root. I barrelled tons of compost and poured it all over the garden to improve the structure of the heavy clay. I sowed seeds, bought more herbaceous perennials than I could afford, and scarified the grass like a man possessed. As I worked on the garden the garden worked on me. I could feel myself, for the first time in a long time, start to relax. As the days lengthened I could feel something inside me begin to lift – literally and metaphorically the clouds were breaking and more sun was touching the ground. I remember planting out pots of sweet peas to climb up a homemade wigwam. Nearby, my apple trees were in bloom. I was wearing a short sleeved shirt and my arms were warm in the sun. I knew then why I loved to garden and that, as long as I had access to a small patch of green, I would be okay.


Yes, I am on medication which is meant to control both anxiety and depression. I have also had many sessions of therapy. Both of these things I have found invaluable to my recuperation. And no, I would never suggest that someone replaces a good doctor with a tray full of seedlings. However, there is definitely something in nature that heals the mind. Not only has gardening helped me to get through a difficult period in my life, it is something I can enjoy when life is good. What I find so wonderful about gardening is that it is both beneficial to my health and enjoyable. This seems like rare thing in life. For example, everyone wants an athlete’s body but few people want to spend five days a week in the gym. Gardening, on the other hand, is both salubrious and gratifying.

I can’t wait to properly get back out and into the garden. I can’t for the grass to dry out and the soil to become workable. I can’t wait to get my tools out of the garage and my pruning shears in my pocket. I can’t wait, because I know that the best medicine for what ails me, is right outside my back door.

Tom Smart is a secondary school teacher who found his passion for gardening in the drizzle and mists of Scotland.

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Lotteries & Native American Casinos in the United States, 2024-2029: Competitive Analysis, Industry Segmentation, Financial Benchmarks





The “Lotteries & Native American Casinos in the US – Industry Market Research Report” report has been added to’s offering.

Over the last few years, industry revenue grew at a CAGR of 5.5% to $198.9 billion, including an expected 3.3% rise in 2024.

In periods of economic growth, lotteries and Native American casinos benefit from low unemployment levels, which drive growth in per capita disposable income. In contrast, recessionary periods cause the majority of consumers to opt against gambling in favor of reducing discretionary spending.

Market Trends

  • Pent-up demand propelled industry recovery. Consumers who had cut back on discretionary spending during the pandemic helped boost industry growth.
  • Strong consumer demand for traditional lotteries has offset larger pandemic losses. Consumers’ propensity toward simple lottery games sustains the product segment.
  • Large population centers are a boon for the industry. In regions with larger population concentration, industry establishments benefit from wider exposure and increased contact with a diverse range of customers.
  • A continuous push for high-quality customer service encourages competition. Since many of the gambling and lottery facility operators are small and localized, good customer service ensures a competitive edge and makes the facility more attractive to customers.

Report Coverage

  • Market estimates from2014-2029
  • Competitive analysis, industry segmentation, financial benchmarks
  • Incorporates SWOT, Porter’s Five Forces and risk management frameworks

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes, but is not limited to:

  • The Florida Lottery
  • New York State Lottery


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Genome and Chilli Partners join forces to revolutionize iGaming affiliate payouts





Leading the charge in the convergence of financial technology and iGaming, Genome, a cutting-edge electronic money institution, is thrilled to announce its strategic partnership with Chilli Partners, a prominent iGaming affiliate program specializing in casino games.

The collaboration marks a pivotal moment in the iGaming industry, bringing together Genome’s expertise in online financial services and Chilli Partners’ prowess in affiliate marketing. The partnership is set to redefine the landscape of affiliate payouts, offering an array of benefits to both affiliates and the iGaming community at large.

“We are excited to embark on this journey with Chilli Partners. By combining our financial expertise with their influential position in the iGaming affiliate space, we aim to set new standards for efficiency and innovation in affiliate payouts,” – noted Genome’s CEO Daumantas Barauskas.

For one, the partnership offers efficient payouts. Affiliates can now enjoy expedited and secure payouts through Genome’s state-of-the-art financial infrastructure, enhancing their overall experience and satisfaction.


It also provides global reach for Chilli Partners, as it can extend its reach to affiliates worldwide with Genome’s international payment capabilities. This allows Chilli Partners to foster a more diverse and expansive network.

The partnership streamlines financial workflows, ensuring seamless transactions and reducing administrative overhead for Chilli Partners, allowing them to focus on delivering top-notch affiliate services.

Genome is all about innovation in payments and online financial services. This approach brings new possibilities for payment options, providing flexibility and convenience for affiliates participating in the Chilli Partners program.

Lastly, the collaboration prioritizes compliance and risk management, assuring affiliates of secure and compliant transactions in accordance with industry regulations.

“This partnership aligns perfectly with our commitment to providing the best possible experience for our affiliates. Genome’s advanced financial services will play a crucial role in elevating our affiliate program to new heights”, – added Clayton Zammit Cesare, Head of Affiliates at Chilli Partners.


As the iGaming industry continues to evolve, Genome and Chilli Partners stand united in their dedication to driving positive change, innovation, and reliability. The partnership is poised to create a ripple effect, positively impacting the entire iGaming ecosystem.

About Genome

Genome is a leading EMI that provides innovative financial services, including batch payouts, SWIFT, and SEPA transfers. With a focus on efficiency and compliance, Genome empowers businesses across various industries, including iGaming, to streamline financial operations and enhance user experiences.

For more information, please visit

About Chilli Partners


Chilli Partners is a prominent iGaming affiliate program specializing in casino games. With a commitment to excellence, Chilli Partners connects affiliates with top-tier iGaming brands, offering a lucrative partnership that includes competitive commission structures and tailored support.

For more information, please visit

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Latest News

KTO Displays the Casino Games that Paid the Most in March


on, a Brazilian casino, has recently published the real RTP of individual games. Drawing from KTO’s latest research paper, which is updated on a monthly basis, we will provide insights into the games that have paid out the most for players in Brazil. 

We will display some of the findings from KTO’s games research paper with the standout games that have delivered the highest returns for players.

Leading the pack in’s real RTP list of games in the online casino is Sugar Rush 1000 that had the highest RTP of 106.35%. It is followed by games like Hotline and Crazy Time, which had RTPs of 101.30% and 101.20%, respectively. 

These games are followed by Sugar Supreme Powernudge and Wild Wild Riches, which paid the players 100.96% and 100.75% respectively


The excitement of gaming is amplified by the games’ high multipliers, which dramatically increase potential winnings. In the report, it’s highlighted that Piggy Tap was the game where the biggest multiplier was won by a player, hitting a top multiplier of 41,069.2x. 

Other notable games include Fire Strike 2 and Floating Dragon New Year Festival Ultra Megaways Hold and Spin, with multipliers of 25,000x and 18,502x, respectively.

When it comes to the research paper’s section of the most popular games, we saw games such as Fortune Tiger leading the popularity charts. With 59.53% of game rounds and a peak multiplier of 2,500x, its popularity in Brazil is undeniable and has been consistent over time.  

Fortune Rabbit and Fortune Ox also saw significant play, with their own impressive multipliers and popularity percentages. Fortune Rabbit and Fortune Ox had 16.30% and 8.58% of game rounds respectively. These games not only captured the attention of players in March but have also been cemented as the top games over time.

KTO’s most popular games research paper highlights games like Sugar Rush 1000 and Piggy Tap as the games with the highest payouts to customers in March. The popular games in March such as Fortune Tiger, Fortune Rabbit and Fortune Ox, demonstrate significant player engagement and consistency.

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