Engaging in your garden space, whether that is an outdoor area, an indoor area or just a pot or two, is an opportunity to improve your wellbeing. There are several reasons for this, ranging from physical exercise to mental flow. There are the benefits associated with connecting with nature from experiencing life beyond your own to breathing in fresh air. In short, there are physical, mental and emotional benefits to be gained from any version of gardening for all age groups and levels of skill.
If you are new to gardening, start small. A garden is a journey of art and science. It is a wonderful on-going experiment into microclimates and design principles. You understanding of the biology and ecology of plants will develop over time. The more you try, the more you will learn and your successes will increase.
Some nice beginner activities include:
- planting onion or sunflower seeds in pots and watching them grow up and then harvest them
- buy an indoor plant and add it to the decor in your brightest room – care for that plant and watch it grow
- experiment with succulents – they are tough and hardy and will thrive on neglect
- gets the children involved by making bug hotels or bird boxes and add them to your outdoor space
- go for a walk and collect some flowers to press and later make into cards and decorations
Intermediate gardeners will already have some understanding of both the microclimates available to them and plant knowledge for at least a few varieties of plants. This is where you can level-up to make more complicated and, ultimately more rewarding, gardening experiences.
Some neat intermediate activities include:
- create some outdoor (or indoor) decor pot arrangements using the formula -thriller, filler and spiller. Place at least 3 complementary plants in a pot together and start the journey into creating botanical masterpieces.
- add variety to your indoor plant collection – try an orchid or fig
- start seedlings indoors ready to plant out later in the season – dahlias, nasturtium and statice are great
- create a space with a self-contained fountain to add the peaceful sound of running water to your space
- create a succulent gutter – attach a section of household guttering to a wall or fence and plant it up with a selection of succulents. (See video below from Succulent goddess Laura Eubanks).
Advanced gardeners – well, you already know what you are upto and probably have a plan in mind already, that said, here are some activities I’m working on this month:
- constructing coldframes to move my extensive collection of seedlings into to grow-on while I wait for frosts season to end
- redesigning old garden beds and updating some of the plantings to better suit my garden style
- starting seeds of those more complicated exotics like the Himilayan Blue Poppy ready to add to my garden
- doing some heavy pruning on old plants that need to be rejuvinated this spring
- digging up and transplanting some trees and shrubs to put in better spaces (now that I have redesigned the garden beds)
- creating garden beds around my chook and goat pens to help provide shelter, food and make them look a little less farmy
The point here is, any activity that gets your working with plants, is good for your wellbeing. Some tasks are physically demanding, others are more mentally challenging, but all of them will give you a sense of joy and accomplishment. Ultimately, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain – so dive in! Find your garden inspiration and start the journey today!