You may be familiar with the phenomenon: when you plunge your fingers into soil, your thoughts quieten completely. For a moment, your brain slows down, your shoulders relax, and best of all, your mood improves. That's the magic of plants — and the good thing is, you only need 20 minutes of gardening to feel all of these positive effects.
While we're indoors, spring is continuing its merry march without us, and it's difficult to accept that we can't expereince the season in all its magnificcence. What we can do, though, is spend time in our own garden. Our own patch of lawn and backyard is calling us, and both you and your plants will benefit from structuring a daily lunch break around the garden.
A working lunch (in the garden)
It's easy to complete these chores during your lunch hour, ready for the afternoon. Then you can continue your day with a clear head and a feeling of satisfaction.
- Spruce up evergreens like Bergenia, Epimedium and Hellebore by cutting away brown and damaged leaves.
- Collect twigs and moss in a basket, but don't throw them out — they're perfect nesting material for birds.
- Take a tour of your pot plants; water, remove dead leaves and feed where necessary.
- Carry out our list of spring gardening tasks: mowing and sowing, fertilizing and pruning.
- Plant bulbs in pots for added color where it's needed.
- Plant outdoor annuals.
- Take a few days to spring-clean your terrace for warmer weather, then you can work outside when the sun comes out. If it's clean and tidy, then transform the space with plants to create an outdoor paradise.
- Consider planting a vegetable garden. Admittedly this will take you more than 20 minutes, but once it is ready, you'll be diving into your vegetable garden every lunchtime, and can even plan a picnic lunch there every once in a while.
Whatever you do in the garden, give yourself that moment to relax amongst the greenery — even when you feel the day is hectic and busy. You might even consider starting a garden journal. Spending time in nature, in whatever form, does a person a world of good. Whether you limit yourself to tidying the thistles between the cobbles, or you begin to feed your plants weekly, get out into the garden and have fun.