National Gardening Week begins today!
The country’s largest celebration of gardening is back for the ninth year running and the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS), which organises the event, has announced that the theme this year is “Get Your Dose of Vitamin G”.
“Vitamin G is ‘green’ and research has shown that getting a daily dose improves our sense of personal wellbeing,” explains RHS Director of Science, Professor Alistair Griffiths.
During a hard year for many, people have rediscovered the amazing impact nature can have on their physical and mental wellbeing.
From houseplants to vegetable gardens, we all want a bit more green in our life.
If you need some ideas on how to get involved with #NationalGardeningWeek this year, we have compiled a list of suggestions from easy-care plants to getting outdoors:
Snake plants are an amazing starter for anyone new to caring for living items. They are one of the most resilient plants around.
NASA even conducted a study that found that these plants can help purify the air in your home.
To care for a snake plant (sometimes referred to as ‘Mother-in-law’s tongue’) you should place it in indirect sunlight and water sparsely. These plants would actually benefit from being allowed to dry out between waterings.
Don’t worry if you neglect this plant a bit, their hardy shape and green leaves will still look fresh (but do remember to water it eventually).
The aloe vera is another easy plant to care for.
A helpful tip: this succulent produces a juice inside the leaves that helps to soothe scrapes and burns when applied on the wound.
Aloe vera like bright light, but not direct sunlight. If the leaves start turning yellow, try finding a new place for the succulent.
Similar to the snake plant, an aloe vera can go periods of time without watering and survive dry periods. When it does come to watering them make sure to do so generously.
If you’re looking for something a bit bolder, look no further than the areca palm.
A full grown areca palm can be quite expensive so many opt instead to buy it small and nurture it to full size themselves.
Unlike the snake plant and aloe vera, the areca palm will not tolerate neglect.
The soil should stay lightly damp during spring and summer but allow it dry out a bit more in the colder months.
To keep it growing healthily, place the tree by a south or west-facing window but avoid direct sunlight.
For more information on growing houseplants, check out the RHS ‘how to’ guide on their website here.
For the garden
Are you bored of plain grass in your garden?
Why not encourage more wildlife to come to your garden by growing wildflowers.
You can scatter seeds, use planting plugs or lay down wildflower turf to encourage a wide array of flowers to bloom in your garden.
Pollinators will be flocking your garden in no time.
Sweet peas are one of the most popular cottage garden flowers known for their beautiful look and enchanting scent.
And they’re relatively simple to grow.
Plant sweet peas in autumn or spring (get them in the ground now if you can) and keep them well-watered.
Keep an eye on them as they grow, sometimes they may need tying in for support.
Feel free to pick the flowers too, this encourages growth and you will get a vase beautiful flowers.
There’s nothing better than cooking with vegetables grown in your own garden.
This week is a perfect time to get your broccoli, cabbage and cauliflowers in the ground.
If you enjoy a good summer salad make sure to sow some lettuce, spinach and rocket too.
Root vegetables can also safely be sown outdoors now. Soon you’ll have carrots coming out of your ears!
Maybe you don’t have any more space for houseplants or your garden is already completely kitted out. Instead try going for a walk in a new place.
The British countryside has so much to offer to people of all ages and abilities.
The National Trust has beautiful gardens up and down the country that people can visit and maybe even get some gardening ideas from (if you happen to have a very large manor house).
Walking in nature can help to relieve stress and lift your spirits. On a beautiful sunny day, a walk around a forest can take your mind away from everything happening in the world right now.
Join the RHS and thousands of others on social media to show us how you’re getting your dose of Vitamin G, using the hashtag #NationalGardeningWeek.