NATIONAL GARDENING WEEK 13 – 19 OCTOBER 2019
George Hoad President of The Garden Clubs of Australia released the following media release:
Dig In & Celebrate!
In October 2017, a new and exciting addition to the Australian gardening calendar was launched and celebrated – Australia’s inaugural National Gardening Week. Over the past 2 years, events have been celebrated by garden clubs, retirement villages, schools and organisations right across the nation, hosting a variety of activities all centred on an appreciation of gardening.
National Gardening Week offers a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the simple joys of gardening and to highlight the associated environmental, social and health benefits. Whether it be maintaining a few pots on a balcony, a suburban backyard or a large country expanse, the enjoyment, the improved mental and physical wellbeing and the satisfaction gardeners gain from ‘getting their hands dirty’ is universal.
This year the focus of National Gardening Week is on children. We are encouraging schools to become involved and organisations to promote events targeted at children, all with the aim of nurturing and inspiring the next generation of gardeners.
The driving force behind the idea is passionate gardener and The Garden Clubs of Australia President, George Hoad. “I have been thrilled at the number of events held and the diversity of activities chosen to celebrate Australia’s National Gardening Week over the past 2 years and hopefully in its third year it will continue to bloom and mature.”
“I was first made aware of a National Gardening Week on a visit to England in April 2013. The week was celebrated throughout the country with colourful floral displays, show gardens and special events, all focused on the practice of gardening. The Royal Horticultural Society (UK) had launched their inaugural National Gardening Week in 2011 and it has grown into the country’s biggest celebration of gardening. I would like to see a similar celebration of gardening and gardeners here in Australia.”
The Garden Clubs of Australia Inc., established in 1950, is the nation’s premiere organisation for garden clubs and other like-minded groups and today has more than 700 affiliates representing over 45,000 members.
“I see the establishment of a National Gardening Week as an extension of The Garden Clubs of Australia’s primary objective, to extend the culture of gardening into the wider community for the benefit of all citizens. With our large network of gardeners to promote and celebrate this event, I feel confident that the Australian community will embrace the idea and be inspired to participate,” George Hoad said.
National Gardening Week is open to everybody – people of all ages, organisations, businesses, local communities, local councils, schools, etc. – to participate in and celebrate gardening in any way they choose. Throw a garden party, visit a local park, join a garden club, plant a tree, visit your local nursery or just spend a day relaxing on the lawn – the list of possible activities is endless!
National Gardening Week Activities and Ideas
Here’s a few ideas and activities that we have come up (15 in all) with to celebrate National Gardening Week – if you can add to the list please don’t hesitate to contact us. Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Herbs in the garden or planted in pots
Herbs are easy to grow and useful in the kitchen – plant up a sunny spot in the garden or gather a collection of pots and enjoy the flavours!
Recycle/upcycle quirky containers
Old paint tins, tool boxes, gum boots, shoes make great herb pots or succulent displays.
Create unusual signage in the garden or veggie patch
Use some old bricks, pavers, roofing tiles, rocks and waterproof permanent marker or paint to make unique markers for your veggie or herb patch.
Make a scarecrow
Lots of fun for a classroom activity or rainy afternoon with the kids and a decorative feature in the garden!
Put in a Birdbath
Birds love a drink and somewhere to splash about especially in our hot and dry summers. Buy a birdbath or let your imagination go wild and create your own.
Creating flower garlands is a fun activity for the classroom, garden club or group of friends and how pretty you’ll look over a cup of tea afterwards.
If you don’t have the space to garden at home, check out if you have a local community garden. You’ll get you own plot and a whole network of friends to advise and assist.
Games and garden quizzes
A fun way to enjoy the garden and educate at the same time, whether in the shade of a tree or indoors on inclement days.
Visit your local garden club
Look up your local club (The Garden Clubs of Australia can assist with locating) and go along to a meeting. Garden clubs are always looking for new members and offer everything from guest speakers, trading tables of interesting plants, floral displays, day outings and overnight trips – all with a cup of tea and yummy treats.
Create a sensory garden
Create a sensory garden at home, at school, in a nursing home, your local park – anywhere that will enhance the beauty of the place and excite the senses. When planning a sensory garden, it is important to combine plants and elements that appeal to all five senses – sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.
Plant a tree
Plant a tree in your garden, local park, school yard or bush regeneration project – the benefits are amazing! Not only from the pleasure of watching a tree grow and mature, admiring its natural beauty but the fact that it purifies the air by absorbing C02 and other harmful pollutants and releases life giving oxygen. Trees give shade, cool our environment, provide shelter for our wildlife, prevent soil erosion and some give us delicious fruit such as apples and oranges.
Build a bee hotel
Most native bees are solitary and make their nests in a variety of places such as soils, hollows in trees, decaying wood, hollow stems – building a bee hotel is the perfect way to encourage them into your garden, your school yard, etc.
Build a compost heap
Recycle all your vegetable and fruit scraps and create a wonderful soil conditioner and plant food.
Plant up a veggie patch
If your garden or school doesn’t already have a vegetable patch, why not create one!
Whether in a pot or beds in the garden, the fragrance and colour display that flowers bring to a space is magical.