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Flower power

On Sunday 11 October, green lovers around the country will be inviting friends, family and neighbours to join them in a virtual celebration for Garden Day. It’ll be happening in neighbourhoods throughout South Africa, on rolling lawns, rooftop gardens, bushy balconies, neat little patches and stoeps covered in shrubbery. Everyone is invited.

Over the years flower crowns have become a must-wear item for Garden Day. This freshly cut, wild, blooming headpiece (or mouthpiece to remain 2020 relevant) represents everything the movement is about: passion, celebration, festivities and a love for all things green. Spend time crafting one, then wear it and feel like royalty. How better to connect with like-minded plant lovers across the land and take a moment to celebrate the greenery that brings you joy.

Photo credit:@Brandslut

Whilst there are obvious physical benefits to being outdoors in the sunshine and getting your hands dirty, there’s a massive mental upside too. Global research has revealed that florists are some of the happiest people around, much happier than those whose jobs pay more or work in supposedly prestigious professions. And it’s not just at work that flowers breed happiness. Fresh cut flowers in your home encourage compassion and kindness, resulting in less worries and anxiety. Living with flowers can also be an energy booster and give people the pickup they need to tackle their workdays with greater enthusiasm.

With spring in the air, and the warmer months ahead, we now have countless opportunities to connect with our gardens and focus our minds. Gardening is known to be a type of meditation, assisting with being in the present moment. And it’s not a notion, there’s science to back this up. Clare Cooper, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, and one of the founders of environmental psychology, says: “When you are looking intensely at something, or you bend down to smell something, you bypass the analytical function of the mind. You stop obsessing and worrying: your senses are awakened, you enter the present moment, you move to ‘the zone’. 

Photo credit:@margueriteoelofse

Wolseley-based flower farmer, Adene Nieuwoudt, cultivates high quality, beautiful, long-lasting fresh-cut flowers and foliage. As one of the 2020 Garden Day ambassadors, she will be proudly displaying her flower crown for this year’s celebrations. “It’s been proven that if you surround yourself with plants and flowers, you’re likely to be happier,” she says. “I can attest to that. My flowers keep me energised and enthusiastic. Garden Day is the ideal celebration to express this sentiment.”

Crowning glory

Adene’s fellow ambassadors feature some of South Africa’s favourite flower and plant enthusiasts, including Babylonstoren’s floral designer Constance Stuurman who will be making a flower crown that tastes as good as it looks. “All you need to make it edible are a few wholly South African ingredients,” she smiles. “I use rosemary, kappertjies, waterblommetjies and rocket flowers, but I’d encourage everyone to experiment and come up with something that suits their own personal taste. Pun intended.”

Photo credit:@margueriteoelofse

Join the movement

To inspire South Africans to celebrate all things green, Garden Day will host a number of virtual events in the run up to Sunday 11 October including flower crown making workshops, so that you can make your own flower crown, the ultimate Garden Day accessory. Once you’ve made your flower crown, snap a picture and share it across social media, using #GardenDaySA.

On the day the movement will host its first Virtual Garden Day Gathering with a host of events, including a flower crown-off with comedian Schalk Bezuidenhout and TV and radio presenter Zoë Brown via Zoom and Facebook Live. The final programme is available to view here.

Catch news, updates, inspiration and more garden-style recipes right here and at @GardenDaySA on Candide, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. Tag your posts with @GardenDaySA and #GardenDaySA to share your green celebration with friends, family, and fellow plant lovers online.