Gardens yield more than vegetables. Whilst the benefits of harvesting produce is undisputedly a side benefit, perhaps the greatest gift that gardens give us is a place to untangle our complicated lives, download our problems and relish in the sunshine and smells or the outdoors. They leave us ready to connect with family, recharged.
Communications experts will explain that men often favour side-by-side conversations whilst women tend to go face-to-face. The side-by-side stance increases a man’s comfort level and is way they can seek intimacy. So what does this have to do with gardening? Working alongside each other on projects in the garden can connect the family together on an emotional level…with the obvious fringe benefit of getting work done!
Couple this with the fact that exercise like digging actually releases endorphins and getting your hands dirty triggers the release if serotonin in our brains, it is no wonder the backyard can be our “happy place.”
Try a few of these ideas together:
- Enter the Spring Garden Competition at Eden Gardens and grow a potted Cosmos
- Set up a worm farm to recycle all the family’s scraps
- Thread a frangipani lei
- Create a fairy or dinosaur garden for the kids in a corner
- Make a climbing bean tepee - but use it as a cubby until its warm enough to plant the beans.
- Go on a mini beast hunt and record and look up what you discover
- Do some backyard birdwatching
- Give someone a lesson in lawnmowing
- Plant some snapdragons and watch how the flowers ‘bite’
- Plant a sunflower and see it face the sun through summer…you can even scratch a face into the flower heads when they form for your very own smiley face
- Make a daisy chain necklace
- Clean your tools together