Why plants are actually amazing for us
Gardening used to have a fogey-ish reputation and the only excitement was swooning over Alan Titchmarsh (think golfing jumpers and the kind of trousers your Uncle Roger wears) or Monty Don (think oversize dungarees and old-fashioned wellies) – but now, gardening is cool!
First, allotments got really trendy, with hipsters in cities around the country signing up to waiting lists for a patch. Then plants became the must-have accessory, with accounts like Geo-Fleur (who offer a Plant Post Club) getting over 124,000 followers!
Celebrities are in on the act too. Snoop Dogg likes growing vegetables apparently #whoknew. Reese Witherspoon developed a love of gardening when going out with the green-fingered Jake Gyllenhaal. Oprah Winfrey grows vegetables, herbs and fruit at her home in Hawaii, while during her time as US First Lady, Michelle Obama worked with some school kids to create a veg patch on the White House lawn!
Getting involved with plants and gardening is actually really good for you, too. It’s great for supporting good mental health plus it helps you to get fresh air and exercise. It also gives you another living thing to focus on, a bit like getting a pet but without so much hassle, commitment and expense – although you can’t cuddle a cacti!
Here are seven ways that you can get into gardening too.
Get your own patch of green
Live somewhere with a garden? See if you can convince your parents to let you have a small area to make your own. Don’t be too ambitious to start with; begin small so you’re not overwhelmed after a few weeks! Think about what vegetable you really like to eat and check out how to grow them, or maybe see what kinds of flowers suit the soil you have.
Wangle a small space
If you don’t have a garden, or your parents don’t want you digging up part of their lawn, try to find a little corner that you can use. Even in a tiny space you can have a few pots. Herbs can grow on a windowsill and will save loads of money for whoever does the cooking in your house, which might be a good way to convince them to let you try!
Most supermarkets now sell seeds and bulbs as well as bags of soil during spring and summer months so pick up what you can (just make sure the soil is peat free as in the UK we’re destroying peat bogs faster than they can be replaced). Keep your eye out for old pots and baskets and you’ll soon have all you need to create lovely gifts like a hanging basket for your gran.
Get some houseplants
If outside space isn’t an option at all, check out the amazing houseplants you can keep in your room. betty has a great guide. You’ll find a whole community sharing their succulents on Instagram, although you might end up envying your friends whose leaves are more lush than your own.
Volunteer to help
If a few plant pots in your bedroom isn’t enough, consider local volunteering options. Lots of places need help maintaining their gardens, from large country homes to elderly neighbours. Whether it’s an official scheme or just a favour, this a great way to learn more, to get experience that’s good for your CV and application forms and to feel good by doing good!
Look for courses
Because all things green have become so popular, so have courses and workshops about these subjects. A quick online search will tell you about afternoon, evening and day long options in your area. Or you could just watch Mr Bloom’s Nursery on CBeebies!
Think about jobs and careers
If you really want to pursue a passion for plants, look out for part-time jobs at garden centres. There are also career opportunities if being green-fingered really becomes your thing.
If none of the above work out for you, or you just don’t fancy getting your hands dirty, there’s always Pinterest. Pinterest was made for boards dedicated to plants and flowers! Start planning your ultimate dream garden straightaway #iwantagiantfountain