5 mindful gardening activities to help you switch off in December even when you don't have time

4 minute read

You know you need to have a little more calm and headspace in your life, but you don’t know how to make it happen and you’re so busy you don’t have the time to look for other ways to switch off. 

Here are 5 mindful activities you can do in your garden, even in winter when not much is growing.

Clean your tools 

Ok, ok, perhaps not the most exciting mindful gardening job. BUT hear me out.  Whilst you clean your tools with warm soapy water, notice the feeling of the water on your skin.  As you clean away this year's dirt and plant remnants, notice any bumps or damage in the metal, what might have caused it?  What have these tools allowed you to do this year.  What will they allow you to do next year?  Allow yourself some daily mindfulness while you garden?

There’s something therapeutic about doing this before the start of the new season.  Clean away the old dirt, setting intentions for the year ahead.

Plus it allows you to decide if you need to upgrade your tools and add them to your Christmas list.

Link is: https://www.adventureswithflowers.com/collections/give-a-gift/products/the-new-mindful-gardeners-tool-kit

Plan next year's garden

You, a cup of tea, the gardening sections of the newspaper and magazines, a pritt stick and a big piece of paper.

Let your imagination run wild, what would your dream garden look like? What flowers would be in it?  Would you have a veg patch?  How about a seating area surrounded by fragrant herbs for you to relax in after a full on day?

Then choose one element of your dream garden to create in your current garden during the upcoming growing season.

Creating a mindful garden is a work in progress and the last thing we want to do is go at it all guns blazing and add to our overwhelm.

We are using our garden to help us switch off not creating the next Chelsea flower show Show garden. 

Sow sweet pea seeds

One of the ultimate mindful gardening activities, sowing seeds.  And sowing sweet pea seeds has even more to give than usual.  Start by pre-sprouting your sweet pea seeds in between 2 pieces of damp kitchen towel on a plate. 

Leave them somewhere warm and keep them moist. Use your daily 5 minutes to check them until you notice the seed coat cracking and a little rootlet starting to poke its way out.

Then they’re ready to plant in compost. One to a cell in root trainers or 3 to a 9cm pot.

They can be left in a cold greenhouse or cold frame to do their thing.  They like the cold.

Use your daily 5 minutes to check them every other day and only water if they start to dry out. The idea is moist not soaking.

It won’t be long until you see those little green shoots making their way out of the soil.

Plant your bare root roses

The feeling of the spade in your hands as you slice it into the ground, the reverberation as it contacts with a stone in the soil which stops it going any deeper.  The feeling of utilising muscles in your back and shoulders to dig the hole deeper and wider until there is space to fit the roots of your new rose in.

Roses are one of the key plants in a mindful garden, beautiful to look at, a divine scent wafting on the breeze and the petals used to decorate desserts or flavour drinks. They don’t take as much care as you might think and actually provide simple mindful gardening activities at key times throughout the year.

Winter is the perfect time to order and plant bare root roses directly from the supplier, so get one on your Christmas list.

Prune overgrown trees, shrubs and hedges

As temperatures fall in winter plants go into a dormant state.  This means that they aren’t actively growing and are conserving their energy for spring (I know how they feel!).

Winter is the ideal time to prune any trees, shrubs or hedges that have got a bit overgrown.  Now I know it can be scary to lop off branches as it feels like you’re going to damage the tree in some way.  I promise you, now is the time to do it so you don’t damage the tree.  

There are a couple of exceptions (of course) it's best to wait until the summer to prune soft fruit trees such as plums, nectarines, cherries as the wet weather we tend to have over winter can exacerbate silver leaf disease in them.

If the idea of pruning or any of the mindful gardening activities i’ve mentioned above still feel daunting then join the waitlist for Mind in Bloom: the mindful gardening membership opening in January 2021. I’ll teach you how to do them all in a supportive, relaxing environment designed to help you find headspace and calm.

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