Pets, purpose and plants: three great reasons to celebrate Garden Day (Sunday 9 October).
From dogs and cats to window boxes of succulents and gardens full of green beans, research* shows that caring for both pets and plants has the power to uplift your mental and emotional health. Enter Garden Day 2022 – the perfect reason to get outdoors, grab your nearest and dearest (pets), pop on a flower crown and celebrate both our pets and plants, on Sunday 9 October.
Now in its seventh year, Garden Day was created by a group of enthusiastic gardeners who wanted to encourage people across South Africa to connect by celebrating their green spaces – no matter how big or small – and embrace the endlessly therapeutic effects of these leafy respites. But it’s not only green spaces that give back to us mentally and physically. “Pets and plants can elevate a person’s mood by decreasing cortisol levels, serving as a source of comfort, and increasing feelings of support,” says one of the movement’s founding gardeners Gundula Deutschlander of Babylonstoren (and mom to four-legged friend, Doring).
“Both pets and plants offer their caretakers a sense of purpose. Knowing your cat or dog is waiting for you to feed them and give them care and affection, gives you a daily reason to rise and shine every morning. As for plants, watering them regularly and tending to their soil offers a similar sense of caregiving. Guarding your garden from pests and winterizing your roses can make you feel essential to their protection.
“The research and literature states that by providing you with an added sense of meaning, pets and plants can keep you from feeling listless, increase your energy levels, and boost your overall productivity,” Deutschlander explained.
According to Deutschlander it’s not only dogs who can (and do) join in on the Garden Day celebrations. “Since Garden Day’s inception the team has been inundated with pictures from people around South Africa sharing images of all their pets – including cats, sheep, horses and even rabbits – in flower crowns on Garden Day,” says Deutschlander who adds that as the official symbol of Garden Day, wearing a flower crown is a must.
“Once you’ve made your own, primp your pet with their own, fresh home-made flower collar. They’re easy to create, beautiful to behold, and can be made to match your own flower crown, ensuring your four-legged friends are part of your Garden Day celebrations.
“Whether they’re playing, preening or resting, most of our pets are lucky enough to spend even more time in our backyards, gardens and green spaces than we do,” says Deutschlander. “So it is only fair for us to include them in our Garden Day celebrations.”
Catch news, updates and inspiration at @GardenDaySA on all social media platforms. Follow @GardenDaySA & #GardenDaySA and share your nature-filled celebrations and your garden’s goodness by tagging us in your posts.
DIY PET FLOWER CROWN / COLLAR
How to create pawsome flower collars for your furry friends on Garden Day
Garden Day, which takes place on Sunday 9 October October, isn’t complete without loved ones around to share your joy. For some lucky people that includes a furry family member or two.
Primp your pet on Garden Day with a fresh home-made flower collar. They’re easy to create, beautiful to behold, and can be made to match your own flower crown, ensuring your four-legged friends are part of your Garden Day celebrations.
Here are some easy-to-follow tips on how to create a corsage, collar or adapt it as a crown, for our furry-legged friends:
- Distract your paw pal with a snack while you measure their neck with flower wire. At least two fingers should be able to fit underneath. You don’t want it too tight.
- Gather your garden scissors, flower wire, tape, pet-friendly blooms, or herbs.
- Fold the wire in a circle-like shape and build the base with greenery.
- Tape or wire your colourful blooms to the base of the crown.
- Put on their collars, use another treat to encourage them, strike a pose and remember to share your pet selfies with us by tagging us or using our hashtag #GardenDaySA #TuinDagSA.