Turn over a new leaf by downing tools this Garden Day
Sunday 15 October
From flower gardens, to greenhouses, water wise patio planters and community gardens where cabbages and cauliflowers are king, South Africans from all walks of life are invited to celebrate their gardens no matter what size, shape or form on Garden Day. Recent research into gardening habits has revealed that people lack opportunities to spend time relaxing in their gardens and want more time to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
That’s why, on Sunday 15 October, we’re celebrating Garden Day with a simple ambition in mind: to encourage people to down tools and spend some quality time with neighbours, family and friends celebrating their gardens
According to the study people traditionally spend much more time (20%) gardening than they do relaxing in their gardens. Some even spend the equivalent of a month each year planting, weeding and watering. It’s no surprise then that almost two thirds (70%) wish they could give more time to relaxing in their gardens.
"Garden Day is the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate the space that we have created with our blood, sweat and tears!" The Gardener television presenter and magazine editor Tanya Visser. "Enjoy time in your garden with friends and family, and simply chill: pull out a blanket, have a braai, or take the celebration to a new level with snacks and champagne. My celebrations will involve my fur kids, a blanket on the lawn, the sizzle of the braai, all in the tranquility of my own garden. I can’t wait!"
The study also uncovered that participants feel happiest in their gardens - more so than going out (18%) or watching television (16%). And a significant nine in ten participants (88%) reported health and wellbeing benefits from spending time outdoors in their gardens.
“In our twenty first century of absolute convenience and consumerism, we have become disconnected from nature - especially living in cities,” says gardening author Jane Griffiths. “My organic vegetable garden is not only my oasis and sanctuary, it provides us with healthy organic vegetables and herbs. I encourage everyone to put down their phones and switch off the TV and go outside - into your garden or a friend's garden and enjoy reconnecting with nature this Garden Day.”
Planting Garden Day Ideas
There’s no denying it, throughout the year an enormous amount of effort goes into keeping and maintaining our gardens, which is why we think this deserves a proper celebration. Garden Day is a chance for South Africans to down tools, enjoy the diverse pleasures of their gardens and acknowledge the hard work that goes into keeping them special.
In the lead up to Garden Day get connected to a library of gardening information, suggestions and direct access to skilled gardeners by downloading the app Gardening with Babylonstoren on your mobile phone. It’s free on the Garden Day website www.gardenday.co.za. You can also visit your nearest nursery or Garden Centre and get inspired. Visit the Life is a Garden website www.lifeisagarden.co.za to locate your nearest Garden Centre or nursery.
What you do in your garden on Garden Day is completely up to you. But we think it’s a great opportunity to get together with friends and family so that as many people as possible can celebrate together, here are some ideas of what you can do …
Share your Garden Day celebrations on your Instagram and other social media accounts using #gardenday
For more ideas and Garden Day inspiration, visit www.gardenday.co.za and follow us on social media.
GARDEN DAY RECIPES
Nasturtium Pesto - Jessica Shepherd, Table at de Meye
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted
2 cups nasturtium leaves and tender stems
1 clove garlic
1 spring onion, ends trimmed and sliced
1/2 cup freshly grated goats pecorino cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and lemon juice to taste
- Place seeds, nasturtium leaves, garlic, onion and cheese into a blender. Slowly add olive oil whilst blender is running, until smooth paste is formed.
- Season to taste with salt and lemon juice
* pumpkin seeds can be substituted with toasted pine nuts, and goats pecorino with parmesan
Plum Cordial - Jane Griffiths, author
Tart summer plums make a delicious cordial. To serve, mix the cordial with lime juice, soda water and plenty of ice.
Cook the plums in water until very soft. Mash and then place in a cloth lined colander and leave to strain for 12 hours. Measure the drained liquid and add an equal amount of sugar and heat. Simmer until slightly thickened. Pour into sterilised bottles and seal. For a change in flavour try adding lavender sprigs or mint to the plums when they are cooking.
Edible Weed Salad - Pat Featherstone, Soil for Life
You can make a delicious salad from edible weeds you may find growing in your garden. Young, freshly harvested weeds are best. They include: black jacks, lamb’s quarter, chickweed, amaranth, purslane, dandelion, milk thistle, wild sorrel, dune spinach, spekboom and wild garlic.
Take five big bunches of leaves and chop them roughly into a salad bowl. Add a chopped up fruit of your choice e.g. prickly pear, Natal plum, apple, pear, nectarine or grapes. Toss the salad gently.
To make a dressing, blend the following together:
3 lemons – the finely grated zest and juice (should be about 4 tablespoons of juice)
½ teaspoon of mustard powder or 1 teaspoon of prepared mustard
2 teaspoons of honey (you may need to add more, depending on your taste)
8 tablespoons of olive oil
Blend in some wild garlic (leaves and bulbs) and / or nettle leaves for a wild and green flavour.
Editor in Chief by day, freelance copywriter, amateur photographer & blogger by night. I love finding new adventures in food and life and sharing them with my readers.