Isolating yourself from friends and family is challenging and tiring. Whether you’ve got a couple of window boxes or acres of land to play with, gardening is accessible and achievable for all. The benefits of gardening include;
Exposure to Vitamin D. Sunshine boosts our mood and immune system.
A 2006 study (read the results here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16411871 ) showed a decreased risk of Dementia in those who regularly gardened.
Enjoyable exercise. Exercise is a biproduct of gardening; focussing on the job in hand means you won’t even realise you’re getting that extra workout in!
Gardening is one of the best ways to get exercise, sunshine, and reconnect with yourself and the natural world around you. Here are some things that you can do to get gardening and reap the benefits!
1. Feed the Birds: Feeders can be purchased online or at a garden centre. Hanging them outside a window that you regularly look out of means you’ll be able to watch the birds and their antics. You can also use this time to look up the different types of birds that you see in your area.
2. Sowing seeds: Stay mindful and nurture a plant from seed to full maturity. Herbs are a great place to start as they are useful in cooking and pleasant to grow and smell. Seed trays are a simple way to start your gardening journey!
3. Houseplants: Not only do houseplants clean the air in our homes, they come in a range of different shapes and sizes and can be relatively low maintenance. They’ll brighten up the home and regularly watering them is something that everyone can help with.
4. Make room for the bees: Now more than ever, bees and wildlife need our help. Not all bees live in hives, some nest individually and lay eggs throughout the summer. Find out what type of bees live in your corner of the world and build a little house to suit their needs.
5. Ponds: If you’ve got more room to play with you could use this time at home to really invest in your garden. Building a pond or a water-based area with a fountain or feature can be a relaxing and wildlife-attracting addition to any garden. Tip: build it yourself to add an extra level of exercise into your day! It doesn’t have to be large; a small pond will still attract all kinds of amphibians, birds and insects to your garden.
6. Clean your garden. Take this time to cut the grass, trim the hedges, cut back the overgrown plants and bushes and bring some order back to your garden. Now is the time to clean greenhouses, remove moss and debris from patio stones, paint that fence, clear the garden path and remove the weeds from the flowerbeds.
7. Design a new feature area. Gravel and garden building materials can be delivered so if you don’t want to go out shopping, let the tools come to you! A woodland corner or gravel patch can really make a nice addition to any garden. Why not use this time to build that vegetable patch?
8. Build a raised bed: A raised bed is a neat and tidy way of growing either flowers or vegetables and reduces the amount of time spent bent over while gardening. It’s great for people with mobility challenges and adds extra levels to the garden to keep it visually interesting.
9. Containers: A pretty container full of flowers is the simplest way to bring some floral enjoyment to your world right now. You can buy flower seeds ready to sow or take clippings from other plants you own and enjoy. These are perfect if you have a little balcony or small sunny area that they can live in.
10. Window boxes: If you’re short on space, use window boxes to grow a range of little flowers and herbs. Ensure they get enough sunlight and regular water. They’re a delightful way to lift the spirits and brighten the home.
11. Get the kids involved: If you have children, now is the time to show them how to sow seeds, plant bulbs and grow vegetables. Help them understand the power of growing something yourself from start to finish and they’ll find the process of watering, sunshine and being outdoors is all the fun they need!
Gardening is the escape from the relentlessness of modern life. Take time when you’re enjoying nature to listen to the wind in the trees, the hum of wildlife around you and cherish the simple pleasure found in watching life grow from seed to flower.