It’s on with your floral crowns and outside you go … we’re celebrating Garden Day this month
There’s been a massive, and very welcome, trend these last two years towards conscious living and connecting with nature. And while we’re staying at home a lot more than we’re used to, gardening is growing in popularity again too, as we rediscover the joy of green spaces. Which means this year’s Garden Day, planned for October 17, is going to be a wonderful, celebratory affair.
Apparently nearly three million people took up gardening last year, and online plant sales have soared. According to Candide, the popular gardening app that unites plant parents and garden enthusiasts across the country and creator of Garden Day, South Africa saw a 50 per cent average increase in members during this time compared to the same period the previous year. It seems everyone – young and old – is embracing plant culture and creating their own green sanctuaries.
So what’s Garden Day all about? Now in its sixth year, it’s a chance for people across the country to celebrate their gardens and take stock of the therapeutic effects that our leafy spaces have on our emotional and physical wellbeing. Whether you have a plant-filled home office, a sprouting veggie patch, an Instagram-ready indoor jungle or simply a kitchen windowsill of potted herbs- the aim is to indulge in and share the joy that your green space brings you, and to acknowledge the positive effect your blossoming flower bed or fragrant herb garden has on you.
There are many ways in which you can enjoy Garden Day. Set a stylish table. Use teapots, antique flower books and plenty of gorgeous, fresh flowers from the garden for a stunning tea party tablescape. A simple picnic on the lawn will bring you into direct contact with the earth and that little bit of sunshine will go a long way to helping lift your mood. You can create an Insta-worthy floral headpiece, or head to the kitchen to add home-grown herbs to a delicious salad, decorate a cake with petals or concoct a botanical cocktail.
Whatever you decide to do, remember to enjoy the moment, immerse yourself in the restorative power of nature and share the joy. We’ve never needed our green spaces more.
If you need some bright ideas for the big day, gardenday.co.za has a handy toolkit to help you plan the perfect celebration, including recipe ideas, downloadable invitations for your celebration and things to do and make with children in the garden. Share your celebration, and tag your posts with @GardenDaySA and #GardenDaySA.
One of South Africa’s favourite flower and plant enthusiasts is Babylonstoren’s floral designer Constance Stuurman. Stuurman plans to use her role as an ambassador to raise awareness of the long-term benefits of gardening. “It’s widely accepted that nature can help focus the mind and that green spaces have a positive impact on health and wellbeing. But did you know that a global study of five places where residents are famed for their longevity found some interesting commonalities when it came to the centenarians who live there? In addition to daily exercise and plant-based diets, they all gardened, happily and healthily, well into their 80s, 90s and beyond.” Now that’s gardening for life.
For me it’s a day to ignore my tools and look beyond the weeds, and simply be in the moment and take pleasure in the beauty of my garden. I love the idea of sharing my green space with others. I am also excited to see how creative everyone will be on Garden Day as gardening has boomed among younger generations, with more and more actively engaging with Mother Nature.
Baybylonstoren’s Master gardener Gundula Deutschlander
The symbol for Garden Day is a flower crown and renowned chef and home gardener Mogau Seshoene, aka The Lazy Makoti, is among the 2021 Garden Day ambassadors who will be wearing one and leading this year’s celebrations. For her, it’s all sharing. “I’ll be pulling out all the stops for a family celebration. We’ll be wearing home-made flower crowns and I will prepare a herb rainbow couscous salad, using fresh ingredients from the garden for everyone to enjoy as we toast this special day.”