AN HOUR IN THE GARDEN A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY
“Spending time in the garden proves to be beneficial for a number of reasons including health and wellbeing, minimising screen time, engaging your senses and spending valuable time with the kids,” says landscape expert Jason Hodges.
Jason Hodges is Australia’s well-loved celebrity landscaper, most notably seen on the Channel Seven lifestyle TV show Better Homes & Gardens. Jason is a four-time Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS) Gold medallist.
Here are Jason’s ideas on how to enjoy one hour per day in your backyard:
Maintenance and physical exercise
Maintaining your backyard is a great way to include exercise into your routine, boost your mood and improve your general wellbeing. Whether it’s a large backyard oasis or a small garden sanctuary, you can incorporate an hour per day of exercise through maintenance.
According to TreeHuggeri, mowing the lawn for an hour can burn between 250-350 calories, while weeding the lawn will burn 200-400 and raking leaves can burn between 350-450. Heavy landscaping is estimated at 400-600 calories to burn, so why not pressure clean the pavers or install garden edging and stepping-stones – you will improve your endurance and your backyard will love you for it.
As stated by Planet Ark research, the nature of childhood has changed significantly over the last 20 years. This is caused by a result of dramatic shifts in lifestyle trends such as the nature of houses and gardens, urban design, working hours of parents, the use of childcare, time pressures on families, increased uptake of electronic entertainment and increased consumerism.
“A veggie garden is a great activity that you and your child can tend to for an hour each day. By watching fruit, vegetables and herbs grow; it will encourage and educate the younger generations about harvesting fresh produce and preparing homemade meals,” explains Jason.
Try building a veggie garden using garden blocks around the perimeter to create a straight, curved or circular garden wall. Use quality soil and choose easy to-grow produce such as carrots, tomatoes, beans and strawberries that the kids will love to snack on.
Build an entertaining area
An outdoor dining and entertaining area is a staple for every Australian home – it adds a new dimension to how you entertain while enhancing the appeal of your home.
“Prepare for spring and gradually build a small patio area that can be used for barbeques and gatherings. Another great option for entertaining is by including built-in furniture, which will add structure and maximise space. You can achieve this via walls that double as seats or seats that double as storage under benches.
Relax and meditate
Gardening is a great way to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, if it’s not your thing, why not use the backyard as a way to stretch and practise meditation?
Being outside will also help to strengthen the immune system as exposure to sunlight increases the body’s natural production of Vitamin D3 – ensure you’re careful and remember to use sun protection. Whether it’s gardening, meditating or building, an hour a day spent outdoors will prove to be beneficial for your general wellbeing.