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Gardens can be all shapes and sizes, filled with lush flowers that bring beauty to the world, or healthy vegetables to feed the family. Or, ideally, they can have both! 

History of National Gardening Day

Gardens have been around for centuries, whether for producing food or simply cultivating plants and flowers. Some traditions even celebrate the idea that life began in a garden that was a perfect paradise! The relationship between people and gardens has a rich history, especially when it comes to cultivating plants for food. But as cultures developed over time, beautiful plants and flowers have also taken their place in society.

Though gardens have been a part of human history for quite some time, National Gardening Day got its start fairly recently. In fact, the first National Gardening Day was celebrated in 2018, when it was founded by Cool Springs Press, which is a publisher of books on DIY gardening and home improvement.

The purpose of establishing National Gardening Day was to draw attention to the hobby of gardening while encouraging both amateur and professional gardeners to share their knowledge about gardening with the world. Most gardeners realize that the sharing of information and knowledge, including some of their mistakes, is an amazing way to promote better gardening practices locally and over a broader spectrum.

National Gardening Day Timeline

25,000 BC

Humans cultivate plants

People begin planting seeds liberally, growing their own food.[1]

3500 BC

Egyptian gardens use irrigation

Ancient Egyptians employ irrigation techniques, especially basin irrigation. [2]

540 BC

Hanging gardens of Babylon

Built by peasants and slaves, these gardens are famously built by King Nebuchadnezzar for his wife. [3]

1516

First use of “herbal” 

The term “herbal” gets its first use in the Oxford English Dictionary.

18th Century

English gardens become popular 

These gardens get started as a rebellion against sculpted and unnatural architectural gardens.[4]

How to Celebrate National Gardening Day

Have tons of fun developing those skills as a gardener by enjoying National Gardening Day. Get started with the celebrations using some of these fun ideas:

Celebrate a Special Gardener

Even those who do not particularly have a bent for gardening themselves often know someone in their family or friend group who loves to garden. National Gardening Day is a great time to help them celebrate their delightful hobby and show appreciation for the beauty they bring to the world. Get them a card or a little gardening related gift, like a book or some seeds, that will help them improve their gardening skills or experience.

Learn More About Gardening

Even professional gardeners know there is always more to learn! This would be a great time to head over to a bookstore or the local library and choose some gardening books to read and learn from. Or some internet research might certainly be useful as well.

Consider getting access to one of these interesting books on the subject of gardening in honor of National Gardening Day:

  • The Complete Gardener’s Guide: The One-Stop Guide to Plan, Sow, Plant and Grow Your Garden by DK (2020).
  • Container and Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners and Beyond: A Guide to Growing Your Own Vegetables, Herbs, Fruit and Cut Flowers by Wendy Silveira (2020).
  • Encyclopedia of Garden Plants for Every Location: Featuring More than 3,000 Plants by DK (2014).
  • The Ultimate Flower Gardener’s Guide: How to Combine Shape, Color and Texture to Create the Garden of Your Dreams by Jenny Rose Carey (2022).

Join a Gardening Club

Most hobbies can be a bit more enjoyable and effective when people have access to others with similar interests from whom they can learn as well as give and receive support. A quick online search should reveal if there is already a gardening club or society in your local area that you could join as a way to celebrate National Gardening Day. If there isn’t one, perhaps this is just the right time to consider grabbing a few garden loving friends and getting a club started!

Do Some Gardening

The amount of actual gardening that can be done outside on National Gardening Day really depends on the weather zone people live in. Those in southern, warmer climates can likely get started as the ground has already been producing some lovely green. Put some seeds directly into the ground or head over to the nursery and purchase some plants that will enhance that beautiful flower garden.

In cooler climates, April might still be a time when frosts are possible, so just be aware of what is most appropriate. Even if the weather isn’t great, it’s certainly possible to do some planning for the upcoming garden, or start some spring pruning, weeding or tilling. And this can also be a good time to get some seeds started inside so they are ready to be put outside when the time is right.

Teach a Child to Garden

In modern times and city living, the art of gardening can be easily lost. One super way to celebrate National Gardening Day might be to invest time and energy in a gardening project with a child. Kids love to help make things happen and see things grow, and gardening is a super way to teach responsibility, patience and nurturing, as well as other life skills. Plus, it’s a great way to spend some dedicated time with a child, most likely in the great outdoors!

Gardening with a child can range from spending time with them on a full-on farm, to simply planting a few herb seeds to grow in a container garden indoors. When planting from seed, it is fun for kids to choose some seeds that are quick to produce shoots, so they can see their progress very quickly. Encourage some note-taking or journal keeping about the process of gardening so the child can learn from their documentation and develop their gardening skills in the future.

Start a Community Garden

National Gardening Day is the perfect time to help members of a community grow in their interest in gardening. See about getting a small plot of land donated as a trade off for taking care of it, perhaps from a corporate sponsor or the local government. Gardening clubs as well as schools can be great advocates for such a project. 

Growing plants and food can really make a difference in the way people of a community interact, especially in an urban setting where possible. Projects like a community garden can bring people together, give them a common purpose and cultivate joy. Plus, it yields food that can be very important for times when food scarcity is a serious problem for many families. 

National Gardening Day FAQs

How to start gardening?

Start gardening with a simple container, some fertile soil and some seeds. It’s easy! [1]

Can gardening help with mental health?

According to research, gardening can help with aspects of mental health, mood improvement, concentration and focus.[2]

Does gardening help the environment?

Gardening at home can benefit the soil, clean the air and help local wildlife.[3]

Why should you wear gloves when gardening?

Wearing gloves while gardening can help reduce skin tears and calluses, and avoid disease. [4]

When should you start gardening?

The best time to start outdoor gardening is about two weeks after the typical last frost date. [5]

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