ORGANIC GARDENING + WELLBEING BY KASIA
This was a challenging year for everyone and it seems huge amount of you decided to spend more time outside than ever - high five!
Gardening is proven (yeah, there are papers on that) to be one of the greatest stress relievers and it's not only amazing for your mind but also for your body and social skills. Let's take a step further and talk 'organic' gardening.
We keep seeing the word 'organic' everywhere these days but if it comes to the gardening it means nothing else than gardening without using synthetic fertilisers or pesticides, it's working with nature and using natural methods like companion planting, crop rotation, using home made fertilisers, green manure... It's a bit like back in the old days. Possibilities are endless and it's easier than it sounds, don't get worked up on terminology.
Why to go 'organic'? Firstly, it is going to make you feel like a hero. I know, sound dull but... that's true! Slowly but surely you will start to notice increased amount of worms in the soil then more insects. You will start hearing birds, maybe you will even spot a spiky hedgehogs or a badger? Going organic helps the environment and boost biodiversity - you are really saving the world here!
I'd like to draw the bigger picture... Please, imagine every household growing own organic food, flowers and trees. Focus on what you can see and how it makes you feel. It's beautiful, isn't it? Nature will never bore you, flowers will always make you smile, vegetables will always taste best when picked fresh from the garden.
Did you notice that while you are pulling out weeds or doing some digging you are not thinking about your problems anymore? You are focused on 'now', you are not worried about things that make you anxious or things that you can not really change. Happiness is not a destination. Going organic won't make you instantly happy but by the positive action - you will give your brain a brake, your body will get stronger and cortisol levels will magically drop.
Organic gardening will keep you sane, you will feel accomplished, grounded and at peace. It will help you understand your place on Earth better and appreciate the natural world. It helped me to find myself and it helped so many people out there. Isn't it worth to give it a shot?
As Shakespeare once said "The earth has music for those who listen" - take your time, focus on what's important, plant your favourite flowers, grow whatever makes you happy, it's not a competition, do what feels right. You can not go wrong about it. Trust yourself. You are a hero.
Loving experiments allotmenteer, growing whatever comes to her mind on two beautiful plots and few extra meters of a garden. Forager, bird watcher, occasional soap and natural skincare maker, big on fermenting and bit of a houseplant maniac - she is a bit of a character and has way too many interests ;) Frustrated with 'greenwashing' and consumerism, just started working on a project 'Norwich grows' to spread the joy of organic gardening and helping wildlife in Norwich.
Strongly believes that permaculture and urban growing are the future and that we need to help nature in any way we possibly can - before it's too late.
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ROSES - IAN LIMMER
Our Garden Centre and rose gardens are open all year round, 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays and the gardens are free for everyone to walk around and enjoy. Our roses are also available online at www.classicroses.co.uk.
At Peter Beales we have been passionate about roses for over 50 years and on a beautiful summer’s day, surrounded by every type of rose imaginable, it’s not hard to see why. Roses come in a glorious variety of shapes, sizes, colours and fragrances and the choice available to customers is breath-taking.
Within our rose gardens in Attleborough, Norfolk, we have over 3,000 roses growing. All mixed in with an attractive variety of perennials and shrubs, flowering well between May and November. On a warm summer’s day, a wander around the rose garden does wonders for the soul and it is easy to lose yourself amongst the vibrant colours and intoxicating fragrances. Gardening has this amazing ability to brighten your mood, to clear your mind and to alleviate stress. Even tasks which on paper can sound far from exciting, can actually be hugely therapeutic. Rose pruning for example is one of those tasks that needs to be done every year in late winter to early spring. The weather is often cold and the gorgeous blooms of summer seem a long way off whilst handling the bare, prickly stems. However, once started, pruning can be a great way of switching off from the chaos around by just concentrating on something entirely different and completely unrelated to the stresses of everyday life. It’s this escapism that makes gardening so powerful and being able to work with plants as beautiful as roses is truly rewarding. Of course it’s not just people that enjoy roses. Many of the roses we have here at the nursery and planted around our gardens are adored by pollinating insects. One variety that always amazes me is ‘Rosa Mundi’. An old Gallica shrub rose which flowers all through the month of June. ‘Rosa Mundi’ dates all the way back to the 12th century! It has these amazing semi-double flowers with stripes of pale and dark pink running through them and beautiful prominent yellow stamens. Perfect for foraging bees!
Another highlight in the gardens for me is ‘Rambling Rector’ which has to be one of the best insect and bee friendly rambling roses. As you walk under the arch you can not only smell the wonderful sweet fragrance of this rose but you can also hear the bees buzzing from flower to flower collecting the pollen. The roses are also popular with a large variety of birds and their mix of beautiful song only enhances the enjoyment of the roses. From Blue Tits busily foraging for caterpillars, Robins perching waiting for us to dig up a worm, to blackbirds nesting in the foliage and later in the year feasting on the winter hips which are rich in vitamin C.