ENJOY SUMMERTIME IN THE GARDEN @HTAnews

…WITH GARDENING IS GOOD FOR YOU!  #GIGFY

Whether starting the day with tea and toast on the patio, relaxing in the shade, dining alfresco, or watching the sun setting with a cool drink, what better place to spend summer than in the garden. Bright mornings, sunny days and warm balmy evenings tempt us outside to enjoy a dose of green therapy, boosting our mood and recharging the batteries.

Designing social spaces into your garden creates opportunities to play and have fun in the sun, entertain over a tasty barbecue, or chill out with family and friends.

Comfy furniture helps you relax in style, whether it’s reclining chairs, a hammock strung between trees, or a gently swinging seat in the shade.

Surrounding yourself with plants brings you closer to nature, improving mood and relieving depression, taking away aches and pains, speeding-up rehabilitation after illness, and improving mental health.

That feeling of wellbeing you get from just being outside comes from a boost of what have colloquially been called ‘outdoorphins’, similar to the endorphins your body produces during exercise that reduce pain and raise the spirits.

So, enjoy summertime in the garden this July, with support from the ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ campaign, supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers.

PLANTS OF THE MOMENT:  PLANTS FOR INSTANT COLOUR & DISPLAYS

There are plenty of plants available in nurseries and garden centres now to add instant colour and impact to summer displays. Many are ready-planted in larger patio pots and hanging baskets that can be put straight outside to enjoy.

These bigger plants are often already in bloom, making them easier to colour-coordinate and match with planting partners, furniture and accessories.

And as well as ornamental plants you’ll find productive ones too, from pots of tomatoes, chillies and strawberries to vegetables, salads, fruits and herbs. Picking crops you’ve grown yourself boosts the brain, creating a feelings of wellbeing, and providing tasty produce to feed the family.

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Look for:

Bedding plants like Begonia, Verbena, Petunias, Pelargoniums, Lobelia, Argyranthemum, Dahlia and Zinnia.

Hardy perennials like Geranium, Echinacea, Anthemis, Phlox, Astrantia, Salvia, Penstemon, Monarda, Helenium and Heuchera.

Shrubs like Hydrangea, Brachyglottis, Nepeta, Lavender*, Hebe, Choisya, Phormium, Cordyline, Yucca or climbing Clematis, Roses, Honeysuckle and Jasmine.

Fruit and Veg like Strawberries, Tomatoes, Chillies and Peppers, Squash, salad plants and potted herbs.

Consumers can follow ‘Gardening is Good for You!’ at www.hta.org.uk/gigfy