As thousands of residents on the Wirral have endured lockdown, a rising number of people have been practicing social distancing and retreating to their gardens.
And with the Oxton Secret Garden’s first ‘virtual tour’ taking place tomorrow, many of us have began to unearth new-found enthusiasm for our gardens.
This, in turn, has led gardens and windowsills across the borough to blossom and thrive.
Yet despite the fact that 55% of us are now spending more time in our gardens, research from Jeyes suggest only 40% of us on the borough are looking after our gardens properly.
As the country gets stuck into the gardening spirit, Jeyes has joined forces with Gardener’s World presenter, Mark Lane.
Their purpose? To set a month-long challenge to the nation: flex your fingers and spend 30 minutes a day in your back garden.
The Great British Garden Spruce up” kicked off on April 27th, coinciding with the launch of National Gardening Week.
Running until May 31st, the challenge hopes to inspire residents to get busy in their gardens (or windowsills) and spruce it up in time for summer.
The lockdown period is the perfect opportunity to prune our skills outdoors, according to Mark.
Mark said: “This will absolutely be a worrying time for many, but gardening has the ability to not only keep you physically fit, but it is also great for improving mental health and wellbeing too.
“May is one of the best months on the gardening calendar with the longer days and warmer weather, so we encourage you to make the most of this time by taking part in the challenge and creating an outdoor sanctuary of your own, no matter how small or large the space.”
The benefits of gardening to both mental and physical health have long been proclaimed. A report by The King’s Fund recognised that regular gardening can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and obesity.
This is further supported byThe Royal Horticultural Society, which calculates that half an hour of digging in the garden burns up to 150 calories and moving the lawn burns 165.
The evidence could not be clearer on the Wirral. While more than half of us report feeling happier when we are close to nature (52%), almost 72% report feelings of relaxation when we’re out in our gardens.
Veteran Wirral gardeners have a notorious appetite for fruit and vegetables, with many of us growing our own rosemary , mint and apples. However, uninitiated gardeners state they would grow strawberries, tomatoes and raspberries, if they had the confidence to do so.
For that reason, downloadable planner has been created including quick and easy, family-friendly suggestions on how people can spend their daily 30 minutes, from water blasting the patio to up-cycling old plant pots.
Charlotte Blampied, Brand Manager at Jeyes, adds: “The planner includes quick and easy tasks that will make a difference.
“We hope this challenge not only gives you the opportunity to get some jobs ticked off your list, but allows you to reconnect with nature and feel comfort in knowing that the nation is also doing the same.”
Participants are encouraged to share pictures of their spruce ups on social media using the hashtag #JeyesGardenSpruceUp on social media channels.
If you would like further information or to download a copy of the planner, please visit jeyesfluid.co.uk.