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Get Fit in the Garden at RHS Garden Wisley

National Gardening Week 2016
by RHS
February 21, 2016

This year National Gardening Week (11 – 17 April) focuses on the ways in which gardens can help keep people fit.

Gardens come alive again during April, with the scents and colour of spring-flowering bulbs and trees bursting with blossom. This is an excellent time to get out and explore their beauty and to be inspired by National Gardening Week, which runs from 11 to 17 April 2016.

For this year's theme, ‘Get Fit in the Garden’, gardens will illustrate the ways that they enhance our wellbeing. During National Gardening Week, RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey hosts activities to demonstrate the benefits of keeping active in the nurturing surroundings of a garden.

Activities planned at RHS Garden Wisley will underline how gardens contribute to our physical and mental fitness. Try t’ai chi classes, a buggy fitness class for families or take part in ‘meet the gardeners’ sessions looking at the aspects of their roles that keep gardeners and horticulturists healthy and happy. The RHS will also be revealing fascinating facts and tips on ways to keep fit, and our four gardens will be open for free on Friday 15 April.

Matthew Pottage, Curator at RHS Garden Wisley, said: “At the RHS Gardens we will be looking at ways to show how everyday activities such as digging, raking and hoeing can keep you fit, and how the garden can be used for exercise and having fun.”

The aim of National Gardening Week is to raise awareness of the diversity, richness and cultural value of the UK’s gardens, and to inspire new visitors to experience and value them. The four RHS Gardens will be leading the campaign, with other gardens across the UK encouraged to take part. In 2015, hundreds of events were held during the week at gardens, museums, community groups and parks across the UK.

Advice for activities to start gardening during National Gardening Week:

• Look after your lawn by giving it a trim if it has started to get long. Mowing little and often is better than cutting it very short and letting it grow back. You can also use a spade (if you lack an edging iron) to tidy up the edges of the turf by creating a little ‘gutter’ around the lawn, and preventing grass from creeping into the borders.

• Sow carrots and beetroot in containers this month for a quick harvest of tender, tasty baby roots – simply pull, trim and rinse them, and cook them whole. Similarly, sow spring onions in pots for flavouring salads and garnishes.

• Get the kids involved and plant some early peas. Great in pots, or in a flowerbed, you can sow the seeds now, ready for picking and eating fresh from the pod in early summer. Support them as they grow with twigs from the garden or string and sticks.

• Annual flowering plants, such as pot marigolds and nasturtiums, can be planted outdoors now to brighten up any sunny container or border, and are also great to add to salads for colour and flavour.

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