This year, Garden Day is especially poignant. Over the past few months, South Africans have turned to their green spaces to find solace and balance. Gardening has been proven to boost both mental and physical well-being and create a sense of belonging and connection. With spring in the air, it offers a chance to pause, reflect, and celebrate a season of new beginnings. From enjoying an outdoor picnic with your family to sharing your green haven with friends online, Garden Day is about taking a moment to celebrate the greenery that brings you joy.
To inspire South Africans to celebrate all things green, Garden Day has been hosting a number of virtual events in the run up to Sunday 11 October— including flower crown making workshops, so that you can make your own flower crown, the ultimate Garden Day accessory. On the day the movement will host its first Virtual Garden Day Gathering with a host of events, including a Q&A session with garden guru Tanya Visser, a celebrity flower crown off with actor and comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout and radio and television presenter Zoë Brown, garden-inspired gourmet cooking and more via Zoom and Facebook Live.
The Happiness Effect of Gardens
According to a recent survey by Candide, 96% of people said they felt happier when spending downtime in their gardens. The findings revealed the most popular garden activities are spending time in a favourite spot admiring plants, listening to birdsong and watching the wildlife, breathing in the fresh air and garden scents, enjoying a cuppa and a chat, taking me time with a quiet bite to eat, playing with the children, reading a book, or lazing on the grass.
“It’s been proven that if you surround yourself with plants and flowers, you’re likely to be happier. I can attest to that,” says Wolseley-based flower farmer Adene Nieuwoudt. “My flowers keep me energised and enthusiastic. Garden Day is the ideal celebration to express this sentiment.”
“There’s an unhurried creativity that comes with gardening,” adds award-winning interior designer Donald Nxumalo. “Typically, I’m racing against the clock, but on my balcony I can let the process evolve slowly. This balances and invigorates me. It inspires my design work.”
Nieuwoudt and Nxumalo are among the 2020 Garden Day ambassadors that will put on a flower crown and lead this year’s celebrations. They are joined by some of South Africa’s favourite flower and plant enthusiasts including landscape designer Joy Phala, Babylonstoren’s floral designer Constance Stuurman and master gardener Gundula Deutschlander, Chef Nti and Chef and author Karen Dudley, actor, writer and producer Donnalee Roberts, opera singer and television presenter Lynelle Kenned, and visual artist Alice Toich.
Join the movement
Visit Gardenday.co.za/GetInvolved to get the programme for the Virtual Garden Gathering plus a handy toolkit to help you plan the perfect virtual celebration; including recipe ideas, downloadable invitations for your virtual celebration and things to do and make with children in the garden.
Feature Image: Interior Designer Donald Nxumalo. Image: Supplied