5 New Year’s Resolutions For You and Your Garden in 2021
With 2021 looking to be a brighter and happier year, what better way is there to greet the new year than with some new years’ resolutions? We all have our own things to work on, whether that be cutting down on alcohol, watching less television, or reading more books.
Here at Forward Builders, we are always trying to encourage our customers and readers to spend more time outdoors, and we honestly believe that having this as a new years’ resolution could improve your sense of wellbeing significantly.
At the present, however (January 2021), it can be difficult to commit to such a resolution as we’re under strict instructions to stay home and protect the NHS. Therefore, spending time outdoors is not advisable, unless, of course, you have a garden. And if you are reading this, chances are you do!
With this in mind, we’re going to take a look at ways you can stick to your new years’ resolution of spending time outdoors from the comfort of your own garden. First, however, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of spending time in the garden!
3 Benefits of Spending Time in the Garden
As our readers and customers know, we are huge advocates of spending time in the garden. Some of the benefits include:
- Improves physical health – Assuming you are not spending every hour in the garden on the bench or sunbed, spending time in the garden can make you fitter and stronger. A lot of garden activities, such as gardening, growing vegetables, or maintenance, help keep you fit and healthy. At a time when getting exercise is harder than ever, gardens are a saving grace.
- Improves mental health – It’s no secret that 2020 was a difficult year, and unfortunately there is a mental health pandemic alongside the virus. Hope is on the horizon, however, and spending time outdoors in the garden is certainly a way to improve and maintain our mental health. Garden activities can reduce stress and anxiety, give us a sense of purpose and accomplishment, increase our confidence and self-esteem, plus much more!
- Allows you to work on new skills – Just because we get older, it should not mean we stop learning new skills. Unfortunately, a good number of us don’t prioritise learning new things when we leave education, unless it’s related to our careers. Having hobbies and learning new skills outside out of work is an extremely healthy habit, and can do a lot to improve your mental health and quality of life.
What New Years’ Resolutions Can You Make In The Garden?
Now that we’ve covered some of the benefits of spending time in the garden, let’s have a look at things you can commit to this year. New Years’ resolutions tend to be things that result in a positive change for us, our families, and/or the environment, so we’ll have a clear focus on those in our picks!
Resolution 1: Manage Your Own Allotment
We might be biased, but there are few things more satisfying in life than planting some seeds, tending and caring for them over a few months, watching them grow into luscious fruit and veggies, then sharing them with your friends and family. Of course, this description is a fairly idealised version of what happens when growing your own vegetables, but with enough preparation and practice, growing your own produce can be extremely rewarding.
As long as you’ve got enough space (and you don’t need a lot!), the right weather conditions (and Britain certainly has), and a bit of spare time on your hands, getting started with a small allotment is not too difficult. We’ve written an in-depth beginners’ guide for growing vegetables to get you started!
We think this is a great new years’ resolution to have for many reasons – not simply the satisfaction factor we mentioned earlier. For example, even a small to medium sized allotment can be an extremely cost-effective way to feed yourself and your family.
Furthermore, it encourages a healthy lifestyle both through the physical effort it takes to grow the produce, plus all the goodness you’ll get from eating them! It’s also a great way of reducing your carbon footprint, and, when done right, there’s very little waste.
In our opinion, pledging to grow some of your own food is a pretty noble resolution to have in 2021, as with it you can help yourself, others, and the environment!
Resolution 2: Support Wildlife
You might not think of your garden as a place to support animals and the wider ecosystem, but it can be – even if you live in an urban/suburban area. Wildlife friendly gardens are becoming more and more popular, as not only do they help the environment but also give you and your guests plenty to look at when the birds and the bees come to see what you have on offer.
There is a lot of scope to making your garden wildlife friendly, and by that we mean you can do as much or as little as you want. As you might expect, though, the more effort you put into diversifying your garden, the bigger variety of wildlife you can attract. Seeing as this article is all about new years’ resolutions, why not make a long-term commitment to a project that will diversity the ecosystem of your garden as much as possible?
A popular way of greeting a wildlife friendly garden is to create habitats for animals to live in. This can include trees for birds to nest in, ponds for fish, amphibians and reptiles, or even sections of untrimmed grass/shrubbery for mammals and insects.
Another way of directly supporting wildlife in your garden is by providing a regular and consistent source of food for animals. Bird boxes are, of course, always a winner, but you can also consider fruit bearing plants and trees. Fresh, clean water is also a good way of attracting a whole manner of life.
As always, a variety of flowers will ensure bees, butterflies and other insects will want to come and see what your garden is all about. This has a knock on effect, for the more insects your garden attracts, the greater the variety of life could come to your garden as these insects also provide a source of food.
Resolution 3: Practice Mindful Techniques and Exercises In Your Garden
As we covered earlier in the article, spending quality time in the garden can do wonders for your mental health. Even if you aren’t struggling with mental health, mindful practices are an extremely healthy habit to get into, and if you’re naturally an outdoors person, doing them outside in your garden might make them even more effective.
If you aren’t familiar with ‘mindfulness’, it can be defined as simply being ‘aware’ of your thoughts without overthinking them, judging them, or trying to give them an interpretation. Being mindful can simply be taking moments out of your day to practice this ‘awareness’, but there are other more dedicated techniques and exercises that you can try, especially if you have a lovely outdoor space to have a go at them.
To get started have a go at some of these mindful exercises in your garden:
- Meditation – At its core, meditation is a process in which you spend an allotted amount of time trying to empty your mind of thoughts. While thoughts will undoubtedly pop into your head, the idea is that you simply allow them to come and go without attaching an emotion to them. Meditation has been used as a spiritual practise for thousands of years due to its ability for us to feel relaxed, improve our mood, and lead to a general sense of wellbeing in life. You can learn more about meditation here, and remember, meditation is a skill, and like any other skill you need to work at it to get the results you want!
- Yoga – Yoga is a physical activity that primarily involves stretching while paying close attention to your breathing and the way your body feels. In many ways, yoga is a more active form of meditation, and can do a lot to relieve the feelings of depression or anxiety, relieve stress, improve your physical health and even make you sleep better. There are many different types of yoga that cater to individuals of all skill levels, so the barrier for entry is extremely low!
- Read, watch, listen, and learn – A great way of practicing mindfulness is through reading books, watching videos, or listening to podcasts. Due to the increasing popularity of mindful activities, there is a tonne of free or paid content online for you to get started, and making the effort to digest the content you absorb and take on board can truly make a positive effect on your life.
Of course, none of the things we have mentioned strictly need a garden for you to be able to do them, but we genuinely believe that practicing mindfulness while attuning yourself to nature can make them more effective. There’s nothing more peaceful / natural than sitting outdoors with the sun on your back, breeze on your face, taking in the sights, smells and sounds of your garden while focusing on relaxation.
Resolution 4: Keep on Top Of Maintenance
As anyone with a fantastic looking garden will tell you – maintaining a garden to a high standard takes a lot of work. We also understand and sympathise with those who turn a blind eye to the tasks in the garden, but failing to keep on top of things can lead to people simply not bothering to spend anytime in there at all, as it can be difficult to relax when there are lots of undone jobs staring right at you!
Putting the work in, however, has a lot of great benefits in the long-run. If you put the time into caring for your garden, there’s a real sense of satisfaction that comes with it as you sit back to admire your handiwork. Similar, it’s always nice when friends and family come over and praise the efforts you’ve gone to in keeping your garden looking incredible.
Furthermore, if you keep on top of tasks as they come up, there is a much better chance of you actually being able to fix them yourself. If things get out of hand, it’s far more tempting to hire a professional to come and sort them for you, as you may no longer have the skills or the time to sort them yourself. This will end up costing you a fortune in the long-run!
The amount of time you will need to spend on maintaining your garden will of course depend on its size. If you stick to the basics, though, such as making sure the grass is cut, sweeping up leaves and debris, and making sure you are on top of overgrowth, it should not be too much of a time commitment.
By committing to a regular garden maintenance routine in 2021, you can spend less time worrying and spend more time focusing on the things you enjoy most about your garden!
Resolution 5: Be More Ethical, Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, And Help The Environment
With the threat of climate change being greater and greater everyday, it’s never been more important for us to do our bit to help the environment. As a garden lover, there is a lot you can do to help the environment and do your part for a more sustainable future. If, over the course of reading this article, something about Resolution 2 and helping wildlife resonated with you, then you’re already taking action to support the environment, but there are many ways to take these efforts further.
One of the biggest changes you can make to have a sustainable garden is to use eco-friendly materials for your building projects. Where possible, you can also use recycled garden elements such as plant pots and tools to ensure as little as possible goes to waste.
Another big way you can help the environment through being conscious of your water consumption. You don’t need a fancy irrigation system or water tank to make a difference, but collecting rainwater in whatever way you can will certainly help. Similarly, say no to sprinklers, use larger plant pots (this prevents them from drying out as fast), and go easy on the hosepipe.
To be a true environmentalist, you will also want to cut down on the amount of chemicals you use for your garden. While this might mean more effort on your part, it’s a chance to make a very real impact. Eartheasy has a great guide for natural pest control if that interests you.
Forward Builders Supplies
We hope we managed to persuade you to try something new in your garden during 2021. We’ve said it many times but we’ll say it one last time – making a conscious effort to spend more time outdoors has countless benefits, especially if you use that time productively.
At Forward Builders’ we have all the equipment and materials you need to get the most out of your garden. Whether you’re looking for garden ornaments and furniture to give your garden a facelift, or are looking for some high quality landscaping materials to begin your next project, we are confident that we’ll be able to provide you with whatever you require.
With the best quality, unbeatable prices, and nationwide delivery, there’s no reason not to choose Forward Builders’ Supplies. If you have any questions about our products, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us 033 0055 2500 to speak with one of our friendly team.