Don’t stop gardening

Summer might be over and winter well on the way, but those with gardens or outside spaces are being urged not to stop gardening.

Broadcaster and chartered horticulturist David Domoney says now more than ever the garden is essential in helping us with our physical and mental wellbeing.

Best known as a presenter on ITV1’s popular gardening show Love Your Garden and This Morning, David is a gardening champion for mental health charity SANE.

He says: “Engaging with and getting closer to nature is one the best things we as humans can do for our health and wellbeing, and gardening enables us to do that regularly.”

Here are some of his Don’t Stop Gardening campaign suggestions:

1. Plant colourful bulbs

Plant some colour for spring and get the children involved too as flower bulbs are really easy to handle and plant and they can then have the joy of watching their own flowers bloom next spring and know they helped to make it happen. Try daffodils, tulips, crocuses, snowdrops, hyacinths and alliums. Those with rental homes with no gardens can always plant bulbs in pots or containers.

2. Grow your own produce

Growing your own food to add flavour and nutrition to your dishes doesn’t mean you need a huge veg patch. In fact, you can grow produce all year round, both indoors and outdoors. Your windowsill can be used to grow sprouting mung beans in jars by soaking them in water, draining them and leaving them to sprout in a dry jar, and you can also grow cress, basil, chillies and many more inside your home. In your garden you can still grow winter crops like kale, perennial spinach, and the like, as well as planting onion and garlic.

3. Look out for wildlife

If your rental home has a garden, then keep your eye out for wildlife in your outside space. If not, head out to your nearest park or green open space. Autumn is a great time for seeing which creatures you can spot. You are likely to see robins which are considered an icon of the winter. Starlings, blue tits, and sparrows may be spotted too. Gathering twigs and leaves together and placing them in your border can provide a safe and cosy space for small mammals and invertebrates.

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