This month, the country celebrates Garden Month.
Well, that is what WE say.
Officially, Saturday June 13 to 21 have been declared "Garden Days" in Canada. We just thought, "why not celebrate the whole month of June".
How are you planning to celebrate?
As the national spokespersons for Garden Days Canada, we are inviting you to post daily messages about your garden experience.
What is your garden story?
Perhaps you live in an urban condo or apartment and grow some herbs or salad greens in a window box. Share.
You started your first vegetable garden this spring and you are excited to tell us about it. Share.
Perhaps you have a fruit tree or orchard, a perennial pollinator garden, an area devoted to flowering plants you will cut and bring indoors. Share.
It is about the experience.
We also want to hear about your garden experience as it extends beyond your property. What public gardens have you enjoyed recently? Parks? Conservation areas? A neighbour's garden, who kindly invited you in for a look at their backyard garden?
During COVID-19 we are experiencing a lot of changes. None of us has escaped the need to think differently about how we entertain ourselves. A recent poll in the United States (IMPACTS)
indicates that people intend to visit parks and public botanical gardens more frequently than in the past. In fact, public gardens factored higher than any other form of public, out-of-the-house entertainment for planned frequency of visits.
It is true, when it comes to social distancing it is much easier to manage in a public green space than, say, a theatre. And when it comes to the natural beauty of gardens the appeal crosses all boundaries: all cultures, all age groups, all religions.
In fact, we have not met one person who does not enjoy seeing a beautiful garden.
Pulling weeds and nurturing growth is a different story. All of us know people who would rather sail, golf, watch TV or whatever, rather than get their knees dirty in the garden.
But we know of no one who does not truly love the experience of walking through a garden, sitting and contemplating the environment of one or simply viewing it through a window (perhaps a hospital window!).
What is the garden experience to you?
To us, the garden is where the food is.
The garden is where nature shows us her best side.
The garden is stage for a complex exhibition of birdsong, buzzing insects and wind in the treetops.
Garden Days will also have a wellness stream with the goal of sharing the major wellness benefits, mental and physical, of gardens and gardening. "Greening the environment decreases cancers, heart disease and pulmonary disease. It should be a central measure to a positive health scope" said Dr. Claudel Pétrin-Desrosiers, President of the Quebec Association of Physicians for the Environment.
This month, let's acknowledge the tremendous impact that the gardening experience has on each of us. Share pictures of our favourite garden places and tell stories that relate to the healing, inspiration, and daily calming influence that gardens have on you. We would love to hear from you.
Use the hashtag #gardendayscanada and/or #itsgardentime. Stay tuned to our social media channels. There will be an opportunity to win prizes!
Above all, be sure to tell your friends and family about your garden experiences.
We believe that today, during the pandemic, is Canada's garden sweet spot: a time when more of us than ever before enjoy a heightened awareness of the benefits of gardening.
With our best wishes for a great June in your garden.
Mark and Ben Cullen
Merchants of Beauty