With the majority of us spending more time at home at the moment, there has been a huge increase in demand on gardening equipment. Local garden centres and nurseries have adapted, offering telephone ordering and home deliveries. Those garden suppliers already online have been inundated with orders for seeds, seedlings and tools.
So, what are we all doing in the garden right now?
A chance to catch up on the weeding
The national crisis has given us the opportunity to spend more time in our gardens. For many of us, this is a chance to tackle some of the jobs we have always tried to ignore. For the first time in, well, longer than we care to admit, we’ve been able to tackle the weeding, clear some flower beds and cut back the straggly bushes.
The warmer April weather gave us a head start on the lawnmowing as well, although it’s also encouraged a lot of regrowth so this is now a weekly task. There is plenty of other maintenance needed in the garden as well, such as painting fences, clearing gutters and even cleaning the windows.
Start a vegetable garden
This year has also seen a huge increase in home vegetable gardens, ranging from a few container plants to raised beds and vegetable plots. You may just want to grow some herbs in a pot, or some tomato plants in a grow bag. Or, you might go all the way and, if you have the space, set up a domestic polytunnel full of seedlings.
A home vegetable patch is something the whole family can be involved in. Children enjoy planting their seeds and watching them grow, and in a few months’ time they’ll love picking the tomatoes and strawberries and eating them straight from the plant. At the same time, it can be as much a part of home-schooling as maths, and a lot more fun.
Creating an outdoor family space
Because the weather in the UK can be so unpredictable, our gardens can become a forgotten and underused area of the home. This year we’re spending a bit more time designing and creating a beautiful space for the whole family.
Consider the separate areas that you need, and just as you would a room inside the house, plan how you can best use the space. Create a play area for the children where you won’t mind footballs smashing into your carefully nurtured plants.
Use flower beds or trellis to separate a seating area, taking into consideration the sunshine. If you prefer to sit outside in the morning, put a bench where you’ll benefit from the morning sun. Or, of you enjoy an evening BBQ, choose a place that has the last of the day’s warmth. If you have a sheltered spot, consider a firepit or garden lamp, and you can extend your evenings a little longer, even this early in the year.
Getting back to nature is good for our health
Why is spending time in the garden so important at the moment? We all know that nature is good for our health. Spending more time outdoors means plenty of fresh air, which helps us enjoy a better night’s sleep. Getting out amongst the plants and tackling those chores will help reduce stress and – while our movements are restricted – give us a little exercise as well.
Just 10 minutes outside, relaxing and enjoying the sunshine, can help lower your stress levels and anxiety, which is something we all need for a positive mental outlook at the moment.