What is National Gardening Week?
National Gardening Week 2020 is held from April 27th to May 3rd and is run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to raise awareness of gardening and horticulture, and to encourage more people to take part in the healthy and productive outdoor activity of gardening.
Members of the public are invited to hold events themselves to celebrate the week, for example, open gardens, local street and park tidy-ups and garden parties. The RHS encourages people to share their events and stories on social media to raise awareness of this popular annual event.
The RHS offers a comprehensive list of project ideas that can be taken up during National Gardening week, from wildlife ideas such as hedgehog, bird and bee habitats, to creating stone walls and compost heaps, to planting wildlife friendly areas, new vegetable plots, containers, window boxes. The ideas are endless!
Here in LifeTime to mark National Gardening Week, our Winmarleigh Photographic Society have captured some amazing photos of their gardens to for us to share with you all and we have put together some tips and advice on how you can enjoy your garden safely.
Gardening does have may health and therapeutic benefits for older people, especially edible gardening. Garden beds, equipment and tools can all be modified to create a garden that is interesting, accessible, and productive.
Benefits of gardening
Gardening is beneficial because it:
- is an enjoyable form of exercise
- increases levels of physical activity and helps mobility and flexibility
- encourages use of all motor skills
- improves endurance and strength
- helps prevent diseases like osteoporosis
- reduces stress levels and promotes relaxation
- provides stimulation and interest in nature and the outdoors
- improves wellbeing as a result of social interaction
- can provide nutritious, home-grown produce.
Adjustments for Gardening
Garden spaces, tools and equipment can be modified or adapted to help reduce the physical stress associated with gardening. Suggestions include:
- using vertical planting to make garden beds accessible for planting and harvesting – try using wall and trellis spaces
- raising beds to enable people with physical restrictions to avoid bending and stooping
- using retractable hanging baskets, wheelbarrows and containers on castors to make suitable movable and elevated garden beds
- using foam, tape and plastic tubing to modify existing tools for a better grip
- using lightweight tools that are easier to handle
- providing shade areas for working in summer months
- having stable chairs and tables to use for comfortable gardening
- making sure that there is a tap nearby or consider installing a drip feeder system for easy watering.
Keeping Yourself Safe Whilst Gardening
- Attend to any cuts, bruises or insect bites immediately.
- Take care in the use of power tools.
- Ensure that paths and walkways are flat and non-slip.
- Warm up before gardening and take frequent breaks.
- Prevent sun exposure by working in the garden early in the morning or late in the day. Wear a hat and apply sunscreen frequently.
- Drink water or juice and avoid alcohol.
- Wear protective shoes, lightweight comfortable clothes that cover exposed skin, a hat and gardening gloves.
- Store garden equipment safely.