This year, Flower Market customers, Nikki Tibbles of Wild at Heart and Hazel Gardiner of Hazel Gardiner Floral Design are amongst those leading the call for plant-lovers everywhere to down tools whatever the weather on Sunday, make a flower crown and share their plant spaces with friends and family - whilst adhering to government guidelines.
Shane Connolly, Kitten Grayson, McQueens, Simon Lycett, Flower Station, Lavender Green, Hybrid Flowers, Frida Kim, Zita Elze and Jane Packer Flowers, Larry Walshe, Fresh Flower Company, The Flower Appreciation Society are amongst those Flower Market customers who’ve lent their support to the Garden Day movement.
The Restorative Power of Nature
Whilst we may all sense that plants and gardens improve our physical health and our mental wellbeing, their effect is being increasingly recognised by the medical community in the UK and around the world. The NHS is starting to offer green social prescribing for patients, whilst hospitals have also begun incorporating gardens into their designs, and exciting careers are emerging in horticultural therapy and therapeutic garden landscaping.
Sue Stuart-Smith, psychiatrist, psychotherapist and keen gardener has spent the past 10 years researching her bestselling book, The Well Gardened Mind, exploring how and why gardens have such a positive impact on our wellbeing. Sue explains:
“Gardening brings us close to the soil and connects us with nature's powers of renewal in a way that can be both calming and invigorating. So it is that in these anxious times when the future feels uncertain that tending plants is providing many people with a psychological lifeline. Although the crisis we are living through may be new, there is nothing new in this effect, for throughout the ages gardens have offered people a safe green space in which to restore and recharge themselves. Garden Day invites you to take a pause to do just that. It’s about making time to immerse ourselves in the peacefulness and beauty of our plants and gardens and celebrating the restorative power of nature.”
Nikki Tibbles & The Happiness Effect of Gardens @wildathearthq
Nikki Tibbles, owner of Wild At Heart, will be celebrating Garden Day at her Sussex home surrounded by four of the dogs she has re-homed through her global Wild at Heart Foundation.
“Our gardens are, more than ever, a safe haven, a place of calm, a space to enjoy and relax and be at one with nature,” says Nikki. “Being in a garden definitely makes me happier. I love being outside whatever the weather. I’m at my happiest when I’m outside in plain jeans, a big old baggy shirt and jumper. Being surrounded by nature that is constantly inspirational is such a joy.”
Hazel Gardiner & The Happiness Effect of Gardens @hazelgardinerdesign
“When you look at something beautiful, you automatically feel happier,” says Hazel Gardiner, who was born into a family of garden enthusiasts. “In our family, the leisure activity centred upon being outside, watching BBC Gardeners’ World and going to a garden centre. I only really got into gardening when I was ill. I had a really rare cancer diagnosis 10 years ago. I couldn’t read or watch TV, so I’d spend time in the garden, not thinking too much about the future. The garden was my sanctuary. I’d go into a complete zone, a dream world. I was just in that moment. Being in my garden soothed my mind.”
As she recovered, Hazel retrained to be a florist with McQueens Flower School and has successfully realised her dream of working with flowers and plants as a career. Her garden remains an important space to rest and recharge. Says Hazel: “We all need to take a moment out of life and social media to take a pause and appreciate nature. It does great things for the soul.”
Get Creative & Win with Garden Day!
Garden Day offers an amazing opportunity for florists to showcase their creativity and expertise to the world on social media through the art and craft of flower crown design. Whether it’s a super-fine, intricate crown or a towering headdress to rival Phil John Perry and Rebel Rebel’s creation for Beyoncé, let your floral creative juices flow!
Share your images using #GardenDayCrown and #GardenDayUK and tagging @GardenDayUK and you could win one of the 5 prizes on offer in the #GardenDayCrown competition: a year’s membership for 4 people to The Newt in Somerset worth £120 plus a luxurious Scents of the Gardens Gift set worth £90.
Find out more about Garden Day and the T&Cs at www.gardenday.co.uk, where you can find out how to celebrate at home, see What’s On, learn how to make a flower crown, and download a digital toolkit.
Caption: Rachel de Thame, Arthur Parkinson, Hazel Gardiner, Nikki Tibbles and Lisa Snowdon are calling on plant-lovers to down tools on Garden Day