Celebrate Garden Day

Plant parent and Orchid fan Hein Scholtz at home in Boston, Belville, Cape Town. Picture: Dwayne Senior for Marvello & Mill/Garden Day SA

People all over the country celebrate Garden Day this Sunday – a day to just sit back and smell the roses.

Television director and plant enthusiast Hein Scholtz believes the day is a great way to bring communities together.
“Garden Day is a movement that started four years ago, and it is all about packing away your tools and connecting with family, friends and neighbours and celebrating the joy and benefits that gardens bring to us all year round. We ask everyone to show their support by making and wearing flower crowns on the day and hosting celebrations at home.” 
Hein, who directs various shows on kykNET, describes himself as a “plant parent”.
His Boston home boasts a wide range of indigenous and foreign orchids as well as ferns and fruit trees.
The day, says Hein, is about using the garden, or any green space for that matter, to bring folks together.
“So if you’ve been admiring your neighbour’s garden from afar or are intrigued by their rambling roses, Garden Day is the perfect time for you to branch out and cultivate relationships with those around you.
“The purpose is also to spread the word about the health benefits of gardening – both physical and mental. In addition to the physicality of gardening. I’ve read that doctors practise ‘green prescribing’ for mental health issues.”
Professor Nox Makunga, a plant scientist at the Department of Botany and Zoology at Stellenbosch University, agrees with Hein that a garden is good for your mental being.

“Next time you’re feeling under the weather, down in the dumps or stressed out, don’t reach for a packet of pills – grab your garden fork instead,” he says.

“There are dozens of studies globally that have looked into how gardening affects your health and there’s only one conclusion: gardening is incredibly good for you.”

Hein says you don’t have to have a huge, rolling patch of lawn to enjoy Garden Day.

“It’s really for everyone, so even if you live in a small space and have one or a few indoor plants, take time on Garden Day to celebrate it and the journey you are playing in growing it and what plants are giving you in return.”