God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures. – Francis Bacon
It is estimated that by 2050, 66% of the world’s population will live in cities and a recent study shows the average American adult spends 93% of their time indoors. A recipe for an unhealthy existence.
Numerous studies from all over the world have shown that connecting with nature reduces stress and improves your mental health and physical health. Hospital patients have a quicker recovery rate if they have a window with a view of nature or even just a tree.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s spring, start planning your gardening year. There’s no excuse, no reason to say you can’t. Even if you haven’t got a garden or that it’s too small or too big. There is no such thing as a person who can’t garden. Gardens are not born, they grow. Rome wasn’t built in a day, start small and expand your project.
If you haven’t got a garden, you at least have a windowsill or a door step or footpath. A window box can be filled with herbs, a planter with a dwarf apple tree. A hanging basket with dwarf tomatoes as well as flowers and herbs.
If you underplant with a selection of spring bulbs, you now have three seasons of interest.
Gardening is not about cutting the grass on the weekend, hoping that the weather is dry. That is a chore, not enjoyment. If you don’t get it cut today, so what, let it grow. If you cut it on a six week rotation it gives wildflowers a chance to grow, much better for you and the natural environment. If you enjoy cutting it weekly, just cut the centre of it or paths through it. Now instead of having just a lawn, you now have a wildflower meadow also.
Turn some of the lawn into a flower/shrub bed. Start small, it’s easy to expand it in the future if you want. Start now, think about the best place for it. The part that gets the most sun is probably best to start with. Cover your area with a layer of cardboard, then a 3-4cm layer of mini-chip bark for mulch. This will stop the grass getting sunlight and will kill it. When the good weather comes you will be ready to plant into it.
When buying plants always ask for advice. The person selling them will know best what they have for sale and questions will be answered. Don’t go and buy all your plants at once. Plants are stocked for sale when looking their best, so spread your purchases over the year so as to spread the flowering season of your bed. Remember there is no garden too small for a tree.