Get Your Hands Dirty!
Published 14th April 2023. Written by Maddison O’Brien
Today is National Gardening Day! People have a long history of nurturing the environment around their homes to grow food, flowers and medicine. Today is a reminder to get out in your garden or start something new. There are many ways to interact with our environment, and gardening is one activity that offers many positives to our health and well-being. Here are a few ideas and benefits of working in the garden to help get the inspiration flowing to get your hands dirty.
We all want to be healthy and happy; as it turns out, gardening ticks the boxes for health and mood improvements. Research shows that gardening provides enjoyment and reduces stress. The physical motions of gardening also improve endurance, strength and mobility. Gardening can also lead to having more social interactions with neighbours and fellow gardeners and allows us to get adequate time outside, breathing fresh air and getting enough sunlight which is essential for overall health.
By starting a simple veggie patch, you can increase the quality of your food and save money on groceries. Picking your herbs and harvesting homegrown veggies, even if it’s just one type, is super satisfying, and it can’t get much fresher than that! By growing your own, you’ll enjoy more nutritious and delicious food.
If veggie patches aren’t your style, perhaps, you’re more interested in growing plants that attract birds and bees that you can enjoy observing. Planting biodiverse gardens for wildlife can be rewarding and less maintenance than other types of gardening, especially when you select species that thrive in Australian conditions. The Watershed Landcare Nursery has a unique selection of native plants perfect for the garden. Go to watershedlandcare.com.au/nursery if biodiversity gardening is something you’re interested in.
Gardening is a great way to feel connected to nature and also provides solutions to waste problems. With a garden, you have the motivation to start composting those household veggie scraps, coffee grinds and eggshells, creating systems that build fertility in the soil where it matters. You could try having a worm farm or chooks that integrate with your garden; they take up little space, and kids love them!
Gardens come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s helpful to know that you can still have a productive garden in a small space or even in containers on a veranda, for example. If you’re new to gardening, starting small (growing something you love to eat or a favourite flower) and working up from there is an excellent idea. Learning by doing is the best way, and you could even join a community garden if you want access to more space and like-minded gardeners who would be more than willing to share tips to help you improve your skills. Happy National Gardening Day!