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12. Making the most of your garden during lock-down


As we are all forced to spend much more time at home, those of us lucky enough to have a garden realise how important it is.  Now is a great opportunity to make the most of your garden to improve that experience.  Being in your garden is really good for you and there are multiple benefits and in our current situation we all need as much help with our health as possible. So, whether you are starting from scratch, or your garden is already a lovely oasis, read on to find out some inspiration to get the most out of your garden.


The health benefits of gardening are both physical and mental, while time outdoors in your garden is a great mental tonic.  Gardening is a fantastic form of physical exercise with lots of stretching and bending, as well as aerobic exercise like squatting, using weights while moving and resistance training too.  Plus, it's better for your wallet as there are no gym fees.   And it's better for the environment as there is no carbon footprint to travel there.


Time in the garden gives us a natural and positive mental health workout by being outside in the fresh air and in touch with the elements (both sun shine and rain are good for us if dressed suitably).  This helps us connect with nature and our environment which eases stress and our troubled minds.  It's a chance to switch our minds off from the stressors of the day and concentrate on what is happening right in front of us at the end of our finger tips.  It's a brilliant form of mindfulness to add to your emotional health toolkit.


So, you may have already spent quite a bit of time in your garden during lock down, especially during the good weather, and realised that in its current format it's not quite working for you.That could be because you've never really known what to do in your garden, and it's a bit of a mess, or you really want to be able to use your garden for more than you do currently, or both.Whatever your starting point, you need to identify what you want to use your garden for and then work out the best place for that activity. For example, if you've decided to grow some vegetables, the dark and dingy corner near the shed won't work as you need sunshine.  But if you wanted a wildlife zone, then that area would be perfect.  Its important to work with what you've got.


Here are a few of our garden inspiration ideas:


Exercising

Take out a mat, some water and any equipment you might want to use and get your heart beating and/or your body stretching

Meditating  

Being in the garden is a great place to zone out of the hustle and bustle and tune into yourself.  Make sure you have something comfy to sit on


Bring the inside out...

Try setting up a an outdoor cinema using a sheet for a screen, if you don't have a suitable flat surface, and turn your mobile into a projector.  You just need somewhere comfortable to sit, and some pop corn and away you go

Most people have cooked outside on their BBQ, but you could try a make-shift outdoor kitchen.  You could use your camping kitchen, if you have one, or your BBQ to heat your kettle and pans etc.  You just need to create a work space area for prepping and washing up afterwards


 Chill down zone

Create an area to relax in by adding a canopy or sun shade, some cushions and comfy chairs and somewhere to put your sun-downers.

Or, if you are missing your day trips, how about bringing the beach to your garden.  Put some tarpaulin/ground cover down first and then sand, set-up your deck chair and switch on an ocean wave soundtrack to help transport yourself there


For even more inspiration try The National Trust's website as they have created a list of 50 activities to do in the garden.


If your garden is well cared for and has a nice display of plants, adding these ideas will boost your garden to another level.  However, some gardens aren't in that category and lots of people are noticing that their outside area seems to be growing, fast!  Gardens tend to do that…but if this fills you with dread and panic, it's not too late to take matters in to hand.  

Try reading our first blog in the 'How to change your garden...' series to see what steps you should be doing to make a difference.  This does mean your journey to a garden haven will be longer, but the rewards in a few weeks' time will outweigh that.  Plus, you still get all the great physical and mental benefits while you are doing that.  The RHS has launched its 'Grow at Home' campaign to help all gardeners, click here to see more details.  There's lots of advice including ways to get the whole family involved, as well as daily ideas for the week ahead for things to be doing in your garden.

Alternatively, if you feel you'd like some professional advice about your garden, we can discuss this with you. Contact us for more information.


Please note that photos are courtesy of either us, or various external websites. Please click on photos and if it is from an external source, this will open in a new window.

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