Whether the weather is gloomy and keeping us inside today, or it’s sunny without a cloud in sight- today is National Plant a Flower Day.
There are many benefits to planting flowers and even building a garden, many of which are physical health benefits. Gardening and yard work are considered moderate-intensity exercises that we should all be partaking in daily, however, these types of exercises increase fine-motor skill strengthening and encourages more stretching for the body. Gardening may hurt your back after a couple of hours of strenuous work, but tending and caring for the plant-life in your backyard can build strength in your bones, fight disease by increasing your vitamin D intake, promoting more sleep due to decrease in stress, anxiety, and depression, and being a natural mood booster. There is a reason why it’s called horticultural therapy. This is an activity that has proven over decades to protect memory with age, and occupy individuals of all ages and backgrounds from making poor choices due to bored (such as breaking laws, using drugs, recovering from addiction, etc). Having an outdoor activity is important for maintaining a healthy weight and to distract our minds from over-thinking.
Planting flowers can foster human connection between family, friends, and the community. Children and teenagers NEED to be outside, and with the incredible technological advances that we’ve made just in the past 20 years, the desire to engage outside has dropped tremendously. Gardening and farming and yard work in general all provide opportunities for children to harvest a good work ethic, as well as qualities such as responsibility, patience, routine, consistency, dedication, and nurturing. Many kids grow something that they are proud of, sometimes flowers and sometimes foods, and they become inspired. Inspired to try new things, inspired to eat better, motivated to learn more. This can lead to a healthier diet and lifestyle habits in the future. Planting flowers can serve as one of the best projects to reinforce family bonding, too.
Family Garden Chores for Kids
Kids can do a lot of the work for your family garden, either independently or alongside an adult. You want to start with setting a reasonable goal- clearing one small, designated area or working for 15 minutes, then moving onto something else.
Depending on their ages, kids can:
Collect sticks and other debris
Spread bark or mulch
Sprinkle plant food
Bring compostables to the compost pile
Water plants with a watering can or hose
Weed (with good instructions on what to pluck and what to keep)
Dig holes for seeds or plants
Harvest fruits or vegetables from the garden
Snip flowers for a bouquet (again, good instructions will be important!)
Mow the lawn (age 10 and up)
Now, as excited as you might be to read about the best flowers to plant in your backyard or the various activities that you could take advantage of participating in, either alone or with your family on days like today, there are some downsides. Indiana has three main soil types; clay, sand, and loam. This link takes you to a page that explains how to figure out what type of soil you have, and what kind of plant life could survive in your home garden.
Believe it or not- Muncie, IN has our own well-known horticultural center called Minnetrista. This gorgeous 40 acre campus is home to several gardens, nature areas, museums, and even historical homes that provide the space several opportunities for engaging workshops, educational programs, immersive learning experiences, community events, and interesting exhibits. The campus is open year-round, and many local residents enjoy the area’s perfect rails and paths for walking. This serves as one of the best locations to spend sunny summer days with family as well as the perfect site to appreciate the best of the natural midwest.
Here is a link to visit Minnetrista website for more information and hours of operation.
Some of the flowers and other plant life that you may see if you visit Minnetrista will be many of the flowers on this list. Since Indiana has difficult soil and extremely unpredictable weather patterns, growing a garden is arduous and difficult, but not impossible. The trouble that first time homeowners or botanical entrepreneurs face is that they don’t know which flowers are going to thrive best. Trial and error can take years to perfect, and loads of effort to maintain, so why not begin with flowers that have the strongest chance at growth and survival from the very start?
Purdue University loves to give horticultural advice, especially to beginning gardeners. Here are some tips to help you get started on your own backyard garden in the midwest.
Recommended activities to do today;
Check out some of the best properties with the most amazing potential for gardens and landscaping projects that our agents here at Starr Real Estate have for sale. These are perfect opportunities to plant a flower for #nationalplantaflowerday