Spring is coming on strong and, according to the calendar, is technically already here by the time this month rolls around. And for those who have not already begun looking at planting this year’s garden–it’s time to get a move on right away!
The changing weather promises good growing seasons to come very soon and National Garden Month encourages people in the northern hemisphere to get out and start preparing that soil. Those who haven’t quite been able to find the motivation should take a moment to let the smell and taste of freshly grown tomatoes tempt, or the sweet taste that can’t be found from anything other than home grown cucumbers, and strawberries.
Depending on the particular location in the world, National Garden Month is the perfect chance to get out and start preparing the garden, tilling soil or planting seeds for everything that will be growing this year!
History of National Garden Month
Gardens have always played an important role in the history of human culture, from sources of food and sustenance to locations for leisure and entertainment. They have even been used to produce natural medicinals used in the home and by holistic medical practitioners.
The word garden traces its roots to Middle English, French, and German languages. In the United Kingdom, this word specifically describes a small enclosed piece of land that is placed next to a building, which might only contain grass. However, in the United States, the term garden has more to do with a place where someone would plant and grow things such as flowers, fruits or vegetables.
Multiple types of garden exist in the world, all of which are dependent on the primary purpose and the list of things that are contained in the garden. For instance, in arid regions some people may choose to have Cactus Gardens. In other places, gardeners may aim for a particular style of aesthetic, such as a Bonsai garden or a Dutch Garden rife with tulips with an eye to efficiency and a density of foliage.
Gardens have also been used to create new habitats and resting places for bees, butterflies, seasonal birds, and other delightful creatures of nature, making them both beautiful and able to aid these creatures whose natural habitats may be diminishing in some places in the wild.
While most home gardens tend to be incredibly informal and relaxed, there are also far more formal gardens that adhere tightly to a given style. French Formal and Italian Renaissance gardens adhere to a particular style, and Knot Gardens are extremely formal with specific guidelines that govern their designs. National Garden Month is a great time to research gardens and learn more about them.
National Garden Month itself is a fairly recent observance. It started with National Garden Week when, in 1986, US President Ronald Reagan signed a declaration to make the observance official the following year in 1987.
Realizing that only seven days simply could never be long enough, National Garden Month was born in 2003– and people have been celebrating this important occasion during each springtime ever since. Now it’s time to get started with the celebrations for National Garden Month this year!
National Garden Month Timeline
First Farmer’s Almanac is published
Though, according to the name, the book is meant for farmers, it is certainly also an important reference and resource for gardeners as well.
Gertrude Jekyll is born
A famous and prolific gardener, Gertrude Jekyll creates more than 400 gardens throughout her lifetime, in the US, UK and Europe.
National Garden Week becomes official
Created in cooperation with the National Garden Bureau, US President Ronald Reagan signs the proclamation to make National Garden Week official for April 12-16, 1987.
National Garden Month is first celebrated
Realizing that a week simply is not enough, National Garden Week grows into National Garden Month, encompassing all of the month of April.
Film A Little Chaos is released
This drama, set in 1682, tells the story of two gardeners who find romance as they work on Louis XIV’s garden of his Versailles palace.
How To Celebrate National Garden Month
Enjoying and observing National Garden Month can take on a variety of different forms. Try out a few of these ideas or come up with some of your very own. Since the month has 30 days, there should be time to get really creative!
Study Up on Gardens of the World
One really great way to start celebrating National Garden Month would be by studying all the different types of gardens in the world. Whether checking out a book from the library on the architecture of formal English gardens or watching a documentary about the water, stones and plants that make up a Chinese garden, this is a great way to celebrate this month.
Visit a Botanical Garden
Many cities offer a botanical style garden that is open to the public, even if it is still too cold outside to start your own garden yet. New York City, London, Los Angeles, and Tokyo are just a few major cities that offer easy access to the joys of visiting a botanical garden.
Botanical gardens provide visitors with the ability to enjoy, learn about and appreciate exotic plants that may not be possible to grow locally. With greenhouses, garden areas and even butterfly houses, they are a load of fun to visit!
Start a Compost Area
Gardens need loads of fertilizer and composting the old matter from the garden is a great way to make it sustainable. It doesn’t even require a special container to compost, just a bit of attention. Throw that garden waste into a separate container and let it decompose over several weeks, turning it every 3-7 days to let it work faster.
Create a Small or Large Garden
For those who may find themselves intrigued or inspired by the idea, it might be a good pursuit to make plans and set about creating a garden of their own during this National Garden Month. Gardens don’t have to be large, so even those who live on a small plot in the city with a mere sliver of a yard could still have their own little piece of gardening paradise. Don’t even have that much space? It’s time to invest in a selection of pots and make your own potted herb or flower garden on those windowsills. Gardens can be anywhere, and just about anyone can be a gardener!National Garden Month is for all of those people with green thumbs, new gardeners and old hands alike, to embrace their love of gardening.
National Garden Month FAQs
What is National Garden Month?
This month is meant to celebrate and enjoy everything that has to do with gardening, recognizing its benefits to mental, emotional and physical health.
What are some National Garden Month activities?
Those looking to celebrate National Garden Month can join in by spending time outside tilling soil, sowing seeds, pulling weeds, planting flowers and so much more.
Who started National Garden Month?
National Garden Month was initiated by the National Garden Bureau, which is an American non-profit organization that has been around for more than 100 years.
When is National Garden Month?
National Garden Month takes place each year in the month of April.
What are the benefits of gardening?
Building strength, promoting healthy sleep, boosting the mood, providing calm and fostering connectivity are just a few of the many benefits of gardening.