From flower gardens, to greenhouses, water wise patio planters, and community gardens where cabbages and cauliflowers are king, South Africans from all walks of life are invited to celebrate their gardens no matter what size, shape or form, on Garden Day. Recent research into gardening habits has revealed that people lack opportunities to spend time relaxing in their gardens, and want more time to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
That’s why, on Sunday 15 October, we’re celebrating Garden Day with a simple ambition in mind: to encourage people to down tools and spend some quality time with neighbours, family, and friends, celebrating their gardens.
According to the study, people traditionally spend much more time gardening than they do relaxing in their gardens. Some even spend the equivalent of a month each year planting, weeding, and watering. It’s no surprise then that almost two thirds wish they could give more time to relaxing in their gardens.
“Garden Day is the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate the space that we have created with our blood, sweat and tears!” – The Gardener television presenter and magazine editor Tanya Visser. “Enjoy time in your garden with friends and family, and simply chill: pull out a blanket, have a braai, or take the celebration to a new level with snacks and champagne. My celebrations will involve my fur kids, a blanket on the lawn, the sizzle of the braai, all in the tranquility of my own garden. I can’t wait!”
The study also uncovered that participants feel happiest in their gardens – more so than going out, or watching television. And a significant nine in ten participants reported health and wellbeing benefits from spending time outdoors in their gardens.
“In our twenty first century of absolute convenience and consumerism, we have become disconnected from nature – especially living in cities,” says gardening author Jane Griffiths. “My organic vegetable garden is not only my oasis and sanctuary, it provides us with healthy organic vegetables and herbs. I encourage everyone to put down their phones and switch off the TV and go outside – into your garden or a friend’s garden and enjoy reconnecting with nature this Garden Day.”
Planting Garden Day Ideas
There’s no denying it, throughout the year an enormous amount of effort goes into keeping and maintaining our gardens, which is why we think this deserves a proper celebration. Garden Day is a chance for South Africans to down tools, enjoy the diverse pleasures of their gardens, and acknowledge the hard work that goes into keeping them special.
In the lead up to Garden Day, get connected to a library of gardening information, suggestions, and direct access to skilled gardeners by downloading the app Gardening with Babylonstoren on your mobile phone. It’s free on the Garden Day website. You can also visit your nearest nursery or Garden Centre and get inspired. Visit the Life is a Garden website to locate your nearest Garden Centre or nursery.
What you do in your garden on Garden Day is completely up to you. But we think it’s a great opportunity to get together with friends and family, so that as many people as possible can celebrate together. Here are some ideas of what you can do:
* Use fresh flowers and greenery from your garden to make flower crowns for everyone.
* Invite friends for a bring’n-braai, use herbs from the garden to flavour their meat.
* Invite neighbours and friends round for rooibos tea en beskuit.
* Have a garden scavenger hunt.
* Instead of book club, have a plant club. Ask guests to bring a rare or interesting plant to swop with one of the other guests.
* Enjoy dinner outside in the garden with each dish featuring a home-grown ingredient.
* If you don’t have your own garden, visit someone who does and enjoy it with them.
* Share your Garden Day celebrations on your Instagram and other social media accounts using #gardenday.
* For more ideas and Garden Day inspiration, visit www.gardenday.co.za and follow on social media: