Let’s celebrate Garden Day!

Gardens, no matter how big or small, have the potential to bring South Africans together, which is why on Sunday, 20 October we are encouraging all plant people to wear a flower crown and celebrate Garden Day.

Garden Day is for everyone: beginner gardeners, indoor plant mums and dads, patio potters, rose growers and wild weeders. It doesn’t matter if you’re part of a group of gardeners growing and harvesting home crops, or a Gardashian whose perfectly pristine, rolling lawn is sure to make everyone else turn green, you’ve worked hard all year, and now it’s time to hang up your gloves and allow yourself the time to appreciate your garden. Even plant parents need a break.

Garden Day was proudly created by Candide, a gardening app that connects gardeners with fellow plant lovers, public gardens and plant nurseries, with the aim of kick-starting a movement to unite all South Africans. Candide features an extensive knowledge base of plants, plant identification and growing tips and aspires to be the BFF of choice to gardeners everywhere.

Enthusiasts are encouraged to show their support by making and wearing flower crowns, and hosting a celebratory event. It could be tea and cake, a glass of umqombothi, a plant swap or lunch on the lawn – as long as you’re surrounded by greenery and toasting the goodness our gardens give us all year round.

Spending regular time in the garden has undisputed health advantages, and there is an abundance of scientific evidence to back up such claims. “Next time you’re feeling under the weather, down in the dumps or stressed out, don’t reach for a packet of pills – grab your garden fork instead,” says Professor Nox Makunga, a plant scientist at the Department of Botany and Zoology at Stellenbosch University. If you are under the impression that gardening is the preserve of retired folk with lots of time on their well-worn hands, think again.

This well-spent time can be extremely beneficial in a number of ways: Replace screens with greens for lifelong genes. School gardening clubs teach children fine motor skills through tasks such as transplanting seedlings and tying in tomatoes. Gardening gets us off our couches and increases physical health by an average of 33%, also contributing to a decreased rate of heart disease and diabetes. Office workers who have houseplants on their desks are 15% more productive than those who don’t. A study asked two groups of people to perform a highly stressful task. During their downtime, they asked one group to read a book and the other to perform 30 minutes of gardening. Even though both tasks lowered levels of Cortisol (the stress-inducing hormone) in the brain, gardening had a higher effect.

Get those hands dirty and relax.

For more information visit www.gardenday.co.za