The nation’s biggest celebration of gardening is here for 2019 from Monday 29 April to Sunday 5 May 2019 as the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) encourages everyone to get involved in grow-your-own. The theme for this year is Edible Britain, with the RHS calling on gardeners up and down the country to share their love of home-grown produce. Here are some of our favourite activities to get the entire family involved and make the most of your garden, community space or local park this National Gardening Week.
Plant a vegetable garden
With longer days and warmer weather, now is the perfect time to plant and grow your own food. Having your own vegetable garden is not only good fun, but one of the best ways to introduce new veggies to fussy eaters. Prepare some space in an existing flower bed or create a whole new vegetable patch to watch your crops grow. Did you know that old grass cuttings make great compost? Add a thin layer of grass cuttings straight over the top of the soil in your vegetable bed to improve soil quality and increase your yield. If you don’t have a garden you could start with some indoor growing or visit your local city farm and see how they can help you get growing.
Make a bee hotel
The hardworking bee is any keen gardener’s friend. There are several types of bees and not all live in hives, so be kind and make them a lovely place to rest to encourage them to come to your garden or windowsill plantation to pollinate your plants. You can easily build one from a mix of wood, hollow reeds, bamboo canes or other textured materials such as pinecones and sticks. It is fun and easy to make and can be built in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit any garden. Remember to locate your hotel somewhere sheltered, ideally in a south or easterly direction to keep your flying friends warm.
Find and press flowers
Spring is bursting with colour and flowers, so finding and pressing beautiful flowers is a great way to preserve their beauty and turn them into something that can be enjoyed year around. Pick your flowers and press between two absorbent pieces of paper, then flatten with a heavy book. The finished result can be used for all kinds of creative projects.
Sunflower growing race
A good old-fashioned sunflower growing competition brings out the competitive side in both young and old. May and June are ideal months to start a sunflower competition. Plant and tend to your individual flower and see who can make it grow the highest before the end of summer. The seeds from the flowers make great bird food come winter.
What better way to bring the entire family together than through some fun garden or park games? We all have a favourite whether it’s a game of rounders, football, croquet or mini-golf.