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Spending time in the garden is one of life’s simplest pleasures – and, it turns out, one of the best things you can do for your well-being.

Whether your corner of paradise consists of acres of lawn, ornamental fountains and historic old trees – or a small urban rooftop garden, or even just a special pot of Basil growing on your kitchen windowsill – the benefits of going hands-on with nature are numerous and proven.

Even if you’re not a professional garden geek, there’s still something innately and deeply satisfying about getting your hands into the dirt, feeling the fertile soil between your fingers, and enjoying a connection with the Earth that many of us can only remember experiencing as children. There’s a kind of innocence in the act: a pleasurable rebellion against the complexities of adulting, and that experience of freedom is something we could all use a little more of in our pressured lives.

Be careful, though. What starts out as playful can quickly turn into a blissful obsession. There’s a sense of new-found purpose when you start pottering, potting, weeding, watering, feeding, mulching and lovingly coaxing a plant to grow. You have a hand in the nurturing of new life, a kind of miracle happening right under your nose. Get down, get dirty, and suddenly you find the everyday stressors melting away as you focus on the task at hand.

SCIENTISTS THINK SO, TOO

Numerous scientific studies have yielded an astonishing number of well-documented health benefits that come from spending time in the garden. These include:

  • lowered blood pressure
  • calming effect on mood
  • reversed attention fatigue
  • positively affects mental health and sense of wellbeing
  • increased brain activity
  • lowered stress and anxiety
  • an enhanced sense of purpose
  • boosted immune system

…among several others.

Hint: Garden Day is celebrated in October, so if you were looking for a reason to get out into the garden and play around a bit, well, here it is.

Garden Day also isn’t necessarily just about digging and planting, though rather, it’s about celebrating the fruits of your labour. It’s a time for friends and family to gather in gardens or communal green spaces and to soak up some of the natural wonder that we all too often take for granted.

The choice is yours: enjoy a picnic, encourage the kids to play hide and seek, rest and relax, read in the shade, make flower crowns – or anything else that takes your fancy.

The key, really, is to allow yourself to absorb the beauty and rhythms of nature – simply because it’s one of the most pleasurable ways to soothe your mind and relax your body.

YOU MIGHT WANT TO HELP THE OTHER GARDEN GUESTS, TOO

Bees are critical to the planet’s well-being, and right now, they’re under threat.

Have you considered planting bee and butterfly attracting plants? Lavender and Rose Geranium are two of our favourites!

And, to attract our busy little friends, you also can set up a ‘Bee Bar’ – fill a shallow container with water and stones that stick out from the water, and set it on the ground near your lavender and rose geranium so the bees have a spot to drink. Butterflies favour shallow, mineral rich muddy puddles on the ground.

Lavender’s fragrant leaves and flowers are very attractive to bees, who show a particular affinity for blue and purple flowers. It enjoys a sunny spot and well-drained soil and does well in containers too. Its rich, calming fragrance smells particularly incredible just after the rain.

Lavender is sought after for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and it stimulates new cell growth, reduces scarring and promotes circulation – which is why you’ll find this amazing ingredient in our Revive Moisturiser and Refresh Moisturiser.

Rose Geranium is a hardy little perennial which is native to Southern Africa and is an amazing addition to any garden. Bees and butterflies love it, and if you plant it along a walkway, it will release its beautiful, sweet rose-like scent when you brush past it. Rose geranium is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to healthy skin-loving benefits:

It promotes cellular regeneration, inhibits skin inflammation, stabilises and balances skin sebum production, promotes circulation, clears congested skin, heals wounds and acne and reduces dermatitis – and it’s for these reasons you’ll find it in Down to Earth’s African Potato Cream, Revive Moisturiser and Refresh Moisturiser.

You can also make a tea using a cup of fresh leaves and flowers, steeped in boiling water for 15 minutes, which is said to reduce feelings of anxiety.

CLEANING OFF

After a day spent with your fingers in the soil, your hands are going to need some TLC – and we have just the thing.

Mix a teaspoon of your favourite Down to Earth cleanser with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and / or Epsom salts or even a spoon of sugar and a little coconut oil to make an exfoliating hand scrub.

Add a little water and massage your hands, paying attention to your nails and cuticles, then rinse off. Follow this with some super hydrating and anti-inflammatory African Potato Cream. Easy!

So, wherever you choose to do it, we encourage you to just get out there. Relax, enjoy, and spend some time in the garden!