Green is Healthy

Gardening has always been a part of our daily lives but when Covid-19 struck last year, it became one of the few success stories from the pandemic.

Garden centres and nurseries were being stripped of plants and associate products. Green was the talk of the town.

Gardening has always been readily and easily accessible and for the majority of us, it was only when we first ventured out of home that we were faced with the so-called patch of dirt and the desire to add a bit of greenery to make it our own.

Sadly, for many our lives become busier with work, family and leisure commitments and our time in the garden quickly gets postponed to merely an occasional weed and mow on the odd weekend.

Certainly, gardening has evolved and increased in popularity over the past ten years or so thanks to reality tv programs such as Better Homes & Gardens, Gardening Australia and even The Block on our screens each week. Living and gardening are now synonymous with one another and continue to inspire what we eat, what we grow and how we can live a very healthy outdoor lifestyle.

In Western Australia, we have the perfect climate to embrace outdoor living and to incorporate gardens within the home space. This is demonstrated with more outdoor ‘rooms’ being added to our living areas.

Gardening is more than just plants and as recent events have taught us, many who went through lengthy periods of lockdown around the world, grappled with emotional and mental health issues and general well-being – from being locked inside and away from gardens.

Gardening was and will continue to prove that it is the perfect tonic to de-stress, become motivated and build self-esteem. Even fitness benefits are evident for enjoying a healthier life.

I have gardened for over 40 years and I honestly can’t function if I haven’t had time out in my patch. It provides some ‘me time’ to reflect on work and family. I can also take my body out of high gear and drop it into neutral very quickly. In other words, my brain is allowed to be void of troubling issues faced every day, and I can spend quality time in my garden nurturing my plants to reach their potential. That provides not only self-satisfaction, but puts me in touch with nature; the reality of knowing that everything has its place and co-exists together.

What have been the significant changes in gardening trends?

In recent years, succulents received the golden gong, but it has been the indoor plant movement that has shaped the way we garden today.

When a room looks dull and uninspiring, a splash of green is the go. Biophilia design in homes has introduced things such as botanical wall papers and the gelato colour palette to uplift our mood.

Early on, traditional indoor plants were what we were used to having, but more recently we are seeing the evolution of natives and edibles planted into pots for home interior design.

With more and more plants being grown, there does come a significant problem. How do we care for them properly - as let’s be honest not all of you have green thumbs.

We all know about water, we’ve heard about fertilisers and it’s not a bad idea to prune regularly, but growing plants is way beyond that. Take indoor plants; understanding light, room temperature and even dry air or drafty conditions can affect the growth of a plant, and what might seem to not do so well in one room may in fact thrive in another.

At this year’s show, we have a variety of experts on hand to lead you in the right direction.

At the Waterwise Hub situated near the main nurseries, you can ‘Meet an Expert’ as part of our Waterwise Gardening promotion. The term Waterwise is a gardening catchphrase here in WA and although we know local endemic natives are always a safe bet for success, the growth of plant breeding has meant we have a larger selection to choose from in our arid climate.

A visit to the Hub will also allow you to see sample Waterwise gardens suitable for coast, verge and inner city living and gives you an opportunity to collect informative brochures to help with design ideas using this sustainable approach.

On hand, also will be the team from Water Corporation to offer further advice on the various Waterwise programs and initiatives that help support a healthier and more sustainable place in which we live.

If you are looking for professional landscaping advice, then head to the Landscape Industries Association (WA) stand (Show Gardens) and ‘Meet a Professional’. Booking times are available online to secure a one-on-one consultation, or alternatively visit the stand to meet an association member and collect useful information to help you select a qualified landscaper for your project.

Gardening is here to stay but it is also here to change our lives. Home gardens will become friendlier and greener, you will see a continued push to make urban development incorporate parks and recreational green spaces. And just as importantly, our cities will begin to grow from a traditional hue of grey to green. Green is the perfect health-kick for the future.