National Gardening Week

For those of you who do not know, it is National Gardening week from 11-17th April. This exceptional event was sprung into fruition five years ago by the RHS, and has since grown in popularity to become the UK’s largest celebration of gardening.  You can expect to find a substantial array of organisations, charities, heritage groups and retailers seizing the opportunity to create and execute events and projects that unite communities and attract an abundance of fresh visitors to famous sites nationwide.

This scheme has been implemented to encourage people of all ages in any area of the country, urban or otherwise to get involved with the great outdoors. We tend to become complacent about the beauty in our surroundings and often need a little poke and prod as a reminder to take some time out to reflect and appreciate the lush green spaces that are never very far from us. Even if you have little to no garden at all, or are in the depths of a city, you are never too far away from a rooftop/patio garden, allotment or public park.

So why celebrate gardens and gardening?

I came across a profound and insightful quote this week which epitomised why we feel the need to celebrate the great outdoors which incurred a great response on our social media:

 Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul”– L. Burbank 

‘Horticultural Therapy’ is a term that has been widely used in recent times, and an increasing number of healthcare professionals are making suggestions to their patients that they indulge in outdoor activities - such as gardening. This has been linked to the decrease in stress and anxiety levels and generally improves overall health, mobility and well-being.

Therefore it seems fitting to announce that this year’s theme is about getting fit and using the garden to explore ways in which you can increase your health. If you happen to be near the vicinity of RHS Wisley, they are planning a range of activities including Tai Chi and buggy fitness classes. The curator for RHS Wisley will be showing how everyday gardening tasks such as digging, raking and lawn mowing can be used as exercise, as well as marking jobs off your ever-growing tick list.

If there were little benefit to a garden or outside space, they wouldn't have been a staple feature to a property or public area for so long. They provide people with a domain of tranquillity and calm that they ordinarily wouldn't find elsewhere, to help diffuse the general stresses and strains of everyday life. Over time, creativity and cultural styles have meandered their way over continents and country’s and we now have the pleasure of being able to enjoy a substantial range of garden design.

What is actually happening between 11th and 17th April I hear you ask!

I have added in a link below which when clicked on will direct you to an extensive diary of events that are taking place across the country on each consecutive day. It is worth taking a look at, as some gardens are opening their gates for free:


If you have little time to spare to enjoy a whole day out, but you would still like to get involved in some way, shape or form  I have come up with a few activities (some of which I will be embarking upon myself):

Activities:
-         Paint some pots in a range of colours and designs.
-          Grow your own herbal tea.
-          Get your family involved and organise a garden scavenge, finding and collecting a range of items.
-          Plant up some summer bulbs in your flower beds, borders and pots.
-          Build and paint a potting shed.
-          Create a roof garden.
-          Fix up broken fencing by reinstating fresh new panels and painting up existing ones.
-          Create a compost cafĂ©.
-          Build a bird bath, table or feeder.
-          Build a bee home.
-          Make some outdoor hanging jar or tin can lanterns.
-          Create a fairy garden out of large unused pots – great for children!
-          Create a perfect BBQ patio area.
-          Construct an obelisk or trellis for your beautiful climber plants.
-          Create a vegetable patch in your garden and plant your first vegetables.
- Get some weeding, digging and pruning done.
-          Partake in some outdoor evening exercise – yoga is a preferred option (grab a mat and put on some light music –  if weather and lighting permits)
-          Install a path or walkway.


There is an endless list of things you can do and some of the activities listed above will depend on the amount of time, money and effort you wish to put in.



I urge you all to give something a go or to plan a day out with friends and family to a local National Gardening Week event, especially if the weather permits. We need to remember how important it is to be out and about, taking ourselves away from the sofa and the television screen every now and then, even if it is only for a couple of hours!

I will be making regular updates on our social media with reference to the little tasks I get done in celebration of National Gardening Week. I would love to receive your feedback of the projects you undertake on your own or with friends and family and the places you visit.


Have a brilliant week and enjoy your outside spaces!

becky@hayloftplants.co.uk

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