Unlock Your Outdoor Potential Part 1
Six reasons to transform your garden from weeds to wonder in time for summer
Long summer afternoons, soaking up the sun on the lawn. Watching bees and butterflies dance over bright, blooming flowers. Tucking into a fresh salad pulled only minutes earlier from your luscious allotment. The simple joys that come with a beautiful garden, make the summer months an extra special time. Yet if you look out of the window and all you see is weeds, rocks & the occasional piece of long forgotten lawn furniture, this blissful vision may seem out of reach to even the greenest fingers. Many people feel that the work and time required to salvage their dilapidated garden outweighs the benefits- but this is the winter blues talking! With even a small input of time and effort, you can begin to turn your weed-riddled yard into a real garden, somewhere you can kick back and unwind on those sunny afternoons. The task before you may seem like a waste of time, of effort and even money, but there’s no reason it has to be. Here’s six reasons why your garden deserves your time…
- It’s a big part of your property
Imagine leaving a room inside your home as neglected as some folk leave their gardens. It’s truly saddening to realise that part of the mortgage is being spent buying a piece of land that many will simply shrug at, and complain that it’d be too much effort, and eventually will cover under concrete, gravel or decking. In fact fewer and fewer of us are looking out of our windows and seeing possibilities. Instead we’re seeing work- and we prefer to do our DIY (indeed if we do any) indoors, where it can be enjoyed year round. And yet your money, your hard work, are going on a space which you may never enjoy- because we’re inherently lazy. But transforming part of our home into something to be enjoyed does not only give us great satisfaction, it can even increase the value of your home. And along the way you will develop a bond with your garden far closer than you would simply redecorating the living room. Putting your own creative mark on your garden is a goal worth striving for, and as you create your vision you will truly know what it means to turn a house into a home.
- It can keep you fit and reduce stress
Gardening is not an especially physically demanding activity. It can be done by people of almost any age, and almost any physical condition, and, perhaps weather permitting, can involve absolutely anyone. Young children can be given safe, simple tasks, and now more than ever specialised equipment is being produced that enables even those with extreme difficulties in movement to weed and trim gardens independently. Yet compared to sitting on the sofa in a stuffy living room, the act of gardening can increase movement and keep you healthy by proving gentle, varied activities each day. Recent studies have even show how even short burst of some gardening activities can:
- Burn calories
- Strengthen joints
- Help control cholesterol & blood pressure
- Increase flexibility
Besides this, a garden is a sanctuary from day to day life. It abounds with chances to retreat from the stresses of job and home, whether throwing oneself into small but engaging tasks or just kicking back and enjoying the atmosphere, you can find a sense of bliss simply by being outside. Leave your electronics inside, and get stuck in to some gardening- what may at first seem like unpleasant, mundane drudgery quickly takes on its own pleasing rhythm as you reconnect with what a lot of us have forgotten- how to work with our hands. A lot of people escape the fast-paced modern world by retreating further into it, with TV or computers, and when your friends hear about muddy afternoons or early starts, they might think you’re crazy- but the sight of your hard work coming to fruition before your eyes trumps all the distractions of modern life for a pure sense of satisfaction well-deserved.
- The Benefits of owning a garden
As we mention in the introduction, the garden is a great place to unwind in the summer- but it’s a lot more besides. While a flower garden can provide a serene place to think & relax, a lawn with a border can be both a beautiful sight and also a great place for your pets or kids to play. A vegetable or herb garden, or a greenhouse can feed your family and let you taste the fruits of your labour- and give you the satisfaction of knowing your dinner didn’t come from the supermarket. Those with enough space can achieve all this and more besides. Indeed, a garden can be everything you want it to be- a reflection of your vision. Whether you wish to cultivate veg or flowers, or simply a place for your family to enjoy, your garden can take whatever form you wish- as intricate or informal as you choose. Whatever your idyll, with hard work you can bring it to life –literally- before your eyes.
- It creates an interest that will stay with you forever
Gardening is recreation. In point #1 we mentioned that too many people see it was a chore, when really it can be so much more. By taking small steps and planning you will find your interest in the steps needed to develop your garden grows, and you will quickly become invested in your garden and the progress you’re making. As your knowledge grows so will your enjoyment, and the time you will be willing to contribute to your garden. Soon, you’ll be eager to learn more, and before long you’re truly a green-fingered gardening enthusiast! Gardening becomes a lifetime passion for many, and as a hobby for people of all ages it can be a part of your life for years to come. The world of plants & gardening is a huge one, and you can always find a new direction in which to take your interest.
- It teaches forward planning, organisation & proactivity
Gardening is a long game. It requires months, even years of planning ahead- the sort of organising ability most of us wish we had in every aspect of our lives. It’s a hard skill to learn, and one that can serve each of us very well as we plan for our futures. These days, it’s rare that we’re required to plan so far ahead, yet doing so can, in reality, save time, hassle, money and lead to better decisions. However the benefit of a hobby that requires thinking far, far ahead, is that the daunting step of envisioning that far ahead becomes a part of life. You’ll want to know when the compost you’ve just laid out will be ready, or how long before you can expect trees to begin bearing fruit. These processes take years and require immediate work- as you will learn, working around the weather means a lot of hard work now, for a payoff perhaps years in the future. Being proactive is key- it won’t take you long to realise that putting off until tomorrow what you can do today, simply won’t cut it!
- It isn’t as hard as you think!
Gardening is a hobby enjoyed by millions. For many others it’s a practical necessity. You will almost certainly struggle at first, and make a few mistakes along the way, but while the world of gardening may not be too forgiving of errors in the short term, it always grants you the chance to try again. With the rise of the internet we have seen massive amounts of information on all gardening topics become available, from websites to blogs to forums, and of course there are books abounding on the topic. There are also clubs and societies dedicated to gardening, TV and radio programmes dedicated to advising new gardeners, and even video games about gardening (these may be more recreational than informative, but nonetheless- there’s a wealth of material out there). The point is you’ll never have far to look for help, no matter now precise your gardening query.
Interested in starting out on the path to a beautiful garden? In part 2 of this blog we will uncover how to make the move from dream to reality- without a massive time commitment.
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