Getting in the garden is a great way to connect with nature. Not only for the kids but is a humbling pursuit at any age. It can help us with our mental health and also return us to a sense of belonging to an ecosystem that is much larger than that of just humans.
There is an area of research in sustainability that focuses on 'Ecological Connection' arguing that connection to nature from a young age leads to more a more empathetic attitude towards the environment in adulthood.
To cut a long story short get outdoors and/or grow things!
Remember it's never about getting it right? It is one big exciting experiment. Even plucking a few mint leaves from a plant you've grown on the kitchen windowsill and brewing a herbal cuppa with them is immensely satisfying.
Here are my top 3 digital resources for the gardening curious:
1. RHS Grow your Own App
A fabulous app that helps you identify plants, check out growing seasons, plant care essentials and other great tips around all types of growing and gardening.
It's free to download or use online:
2. Online Allotment & Garden Planners
Photo by Dan Roizer
Now there is absolutely no need to have an allotment to make best use of these tools. They are suitable if you have space for a couple of pots or a raised bed in your garden.
Full of helpful tips of jobs for which month, how and when to plant various species and even tips to get the kids involved and essential recipes for your prized produce.
Slow and steady is the order of the day when it comes to gardening.
3. Permaculture Association
Photo by Olivier Mary
I was lucky enough to study permaculture throughout my degree and the principles makes sense. Take care fo the soil, don't waste and design your gardens to require the least amount of effort.
I'm fundamentally lazy to having my herbs next to the front door was always going to be a winner for me!
Using concepts like companion planting can also reduce requirements for harmful pesticides too.