Gardening towards a greener future


When was the last time you spent a good day gardening? Even if you don’t have a garden of your own, there’s nothing better than prettying up your windowsills, heading down to your local allotment or pitching up to help in a friend’s space. Here are some of the benefits of gardening:


Good for your body

While you work away, your skin is absorbing vitamin D from the sun. You’ll also get your aerobic exercise, get stronger and even sleep better. Just don’t forget to wear natural sun protection.

And when you sit down to eat all that fresh, organic, pesticide-free fruit and veg you’ve grown, your body will thank you. Growing their own can even help kids get over their broccoli fear.


Good for your mind

Gardening is proven to improve brain function and keep dementia away. It makes you happier and calmer and can even help with addiction. Growing things from scratch gives you a sense of agency and optimism and is a great way to manage eco-anxiety.


Good for your community

Whether you pitch in as a family or get involved in a community space, it’s a chance to work on something bigger than yourself. Something that can feed and sustain those around you.


How to get started

When you’re ready to pick up the spade, here are some easy and satisfying plants to get you started.

If you want to feed the family, radishes, peas and cucumbers are a great choice. They grow so quickly even the kids will stay engaged. Courgettes, squash and beetroot thrive in most environments. You can compete with your neighbours over who can grow the biggest. Get a head start by sowing your seeds indoors first using a Fair Zone Seed Tray.

If you only have a windowsill or balcony: chillies and herbs are a splash of colour and will add flavour to your food.

On the sweet side, strawberries, blackberries and gooseberries need little effort and offer maximum reward. Especially with whipped cream.

For a visual impact, sow sunflowers and see who can grow the tallest on your street. Bulk out your beds with easy-care splashes of colour from marigolds, snapdragons and geraniums.


Top tips

The no-dig method is a quick way to start your garden without disturbing wildlife. Instead of digging down to remove weeds, you put compost or manure on the surface of the ground to start your garden.

To keep pests away without using toxic chemicals, plant companions that attract pollinators and repel the bad bugs. Sow garlic to avoid aphids and spider mites. Basil keeps tomato hornworms away. Marigolds will keep your cucumbers and courgettes beetle-free.


Give the planet a helping hand

If you want to give the environment a helping hand with your gardening, choose plants that give back.

To clean contaminated soil, plant hornbeam hedge, beech and laurel. They make a perfect natural alternative to a fence or boundary wall. To attract and support pollinators, plant borage, butterfly bush, dahlias and daisies. And to clean the air from pollutants, plant lots of ivy, palms and ferns. They love the shade so will suit most gardens, even if you don’t get much sun.

>>So grab your Fair Zone Gardening Gloves and get out there.