Garden lovers are being urged to get outside and celebrate Somerset’s first ever garden Day.
The event, which has been created by a group of gardening enthusiasts, takes place on 14 May 2017.
It is hoped that the celebration will encourage people to “down tools and enjoy their gardens” with neighbours, friends and family.
Event organisers said that Somerset Garden Day will become an annual event.
Alan Down, Somerset Garden Day ambassador and gardening expert, told Love Somerset Online about the event.
Alan: “Somerset Garden Day has been organised by gardening enthusiasts in Somerset who want to create an opportunity for as many people as possible to celebrate their gardens, regardless of size or gardening experience. The day is designed to be as inclusive as possible, and everyone and anyone can take part.
“Somerset Garden Day [also aims to] spread a love of gardening across Somerset.
“I hope that Somerset Garden Day helps to get as many people as possible enjoying the benefits of their gardens and that it leaves people wanting more opportunities to spend time with them. Our gardens are there to be celebrated, so let’s celebrate them.
“Somerset has everything from wild wetlands, great coastline and glorious hills. But what it especially has is an exceptional range of great gardens to visit and arguably the best climate in which to garden!”
Research by Somerset Garden Day into the county’s gardening habits found that, despite the county’s reputation as one of the gardening hotspots of the UK, residents lack opportunities to spend time relaxing in their gardens and want more time to “enjoy the fruits of their labour”.
According to the study of over 700 Somerset residents, people traditionally spend more time (20%) gardening than they do relaxing in their gardens. Some even spend the equivalent of a month each year planting, weeding and watering.
Significantly, organisers said, nine in 10 Somerset residents (88%) reported health and wellbeing benefits from spending time outdoors in their gardens, including feeling happier and more contented. Over half (55%) of those questioned said that spending time in their garden improves mental health, as well as helping build better relationships with friends and family.
Annie Maw, Lord Lieutenant for Somerset, said residents had the ideal opportunity to celebrate together.
Annie: “Somerset Garden Day offers a rare chance for us to come together with neighbours, friends and family to celebrate our gardens – one of life’s greatest pleasures. Our gardens help us feel happy, rejuvenated and inspired, and Somerset Garden Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the pleasures that gardens bring.”
Helen Feary, partner gardens manager at the Royal Horticultural Society, said the society “wholeheartedly supported” Somerset Garden Day.
Helen: “[Somerset Garden Day] chimes with our own vision to enrich everyone’s lives through plants and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. So down tools, switch the kettle on and enjoy your garden – or visit someone else’s garden to relax and be inspired.”