Celebrating National Gardening Week with the Royal Horticultural Society I Soak&Sleep

National Gardening week 2022 is being held between 2nd and the 8th of May.

The benefits of gardening for general wellbeing and mindfulness have long been recognised and the Royal Horticultural Society have shared their blog with us which is all about this topic. At Soak&Sleep, we are also seeing a big trend in 'green bedrooms' - essentially dressing your bedroom with plants, and the blog below has some tips on growing indoor plants too. So sit back, read on and enjoy National Gardening Week whether you are in a garden, on a balcony on in your green bedroom! 


Keep Gardening...

National Gardening Week is more important than ever before, with people turning to gardening to calm their minds, keep themselves active and spend more time in the great outdoors. That is why the theme for National Gardening Week 2022 is ‘the joy of gardening’ and the RHS is ready to help both new and seasoned gardeners to grow and simply enjoy gardening again.

As gardening is a great way to look after physical and mental health, the RHS is encouraging people across the UK to turn their home or garden into a green oasis, especially with more people now spending much of their time at home. Your garden can keep you fit by weeding, hoeing and mowing, it can keep you fed by growing a mouth-watering array of fruit and vegetables, but perhaps most importantly, it can be a place to reflect and find peace.


Anyone can purchase lovely plants and seeds online, and in a year that will be particularly difficult for the horticultural industry, those growers, nurseries and gardens centres able to deliver to your door need your support more than ever. The RHS have created films with beginner gardening advice for those who aren’t sure where to start – look out for these on the RHS Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channels. And those who don’t have a garden will not be left out: the houseplant trend continues to inspire and herbs are easy to grow from seed on a windowsill, so why not give it a go?

During last years National Gardening Week, RHS Chief Horticulturist Guy Barter said: “During these challenging and unsettling times when we are missing our family and friends, and our favourite places and activities, National Gardening Week takes on new meaning for many of us this year. While we all stay at home, the RHS is encouraging the nation to take to social media and share uplifting videos and images of their gardens, houseplants, allotments and even the trees and flowers that make them smile on their daily exercise, using the hashtag #NationalGardeningWeek, to help inspire everyone to keep gardening and grow at home.” - and we believe this still stands, even though the world has opened up again. 

Tips for getting started this National Gardening Week

From RHS Chief Horticulturist Guy Barter

  1. Sow wildflowers, cornfield annuals, garden annuals including sunflowers and think ahead for next year, when we trust things will be more normal – consider sowing biennials such as Canterbury bells, sweet Williams and wallflowers to plant out in the autumn.
  2. You may still be able to order the summer bulbs - gladioli, sparaxis.
  3. Over-wintered tender plants and any new ones you have bought, such as fuchsias and pelargoniums, can be made bushier by pinching out the tips. You can also take 5-7cm cuttings to be struck in a propagator or in a pot under a plastic bag. These will be in flower by late summer and also make good gifts when you’re able to get out and see friends and family again.
  4. Clear winter containers of bulbs, pansies and other plants refresh the potting compost with 50% new media and plant freely with fabulous summer bedding plants – begonias, fuchsias and the new downy mildew resistant busy Lizzies for shady areas, and for sun lobelia, marigolds, nicotiana, petunias, tagetes and zinnias.
  5. Invest in more houseplants. Small inexpensive ones can grow significantly in summer, especially if put outside in a sunny, sheltered place with slug protection, making good specimens to bring indoors by October.
  6. Liquid fertiliser for summer is one of the best investments a gardener can buy, boosting growth significantly. Buy tomato fertiliser or liquid seaweed in bulk, both are applicable to a wide range of garden plants.
  7. Hardy vegetables can be sown for succession – carrots, beetroot, lettuce, radish, salad onions and turnips are quick growing. If you did not sow any in March or April, invest in some young plants (but not carrots, they hate transplanting)
  8. Peas and broad beans are not really worth sowing now, but French beans and runner beans (one wigwam is sufficient in most cases) will give enormous crops from mid-summer. Sow outdoors after mid-May and in pots before then. Soya beans are feasible - edamame or steamed salted pods form which tender seeds are popped is a fabulous fresh vegetable
  9. Cucumber family plants are also heavy croppers and can be sown now in pots or from mid-May outdoors: courgettes (three plants are enough for most households); cucumbers indoors or outdoors; marrows; pumpkins; or best of all squash. Squash will keep and some, like Crown Prince, can last until April.
  10. Sweetcorn can be sown now too. Adventurous gardeners could also seek out sweet potato plants or cuttings (slips) which can give a good crop in a warm sunny spot.
  11. Keep fit by mowing, weeding, hoeing and turning the compost heap.

What are the wellbeing benefits of gardening?

RHS Director of Science and Collections and co-author of new DK book, RHS Your Wellbeing Garden, Dr Alistair Griffiths says:

“There is an ever-increasing body of scientific evidence showing that a regular dose of gardening can improve your mental and physical wellbeing. Studies now provide robust evidence for the positive physical and mental effects of gardening on health. In fact, there are very few, if any, other activities that can achieve all of the things that gardening can – in particular, the measurable impact on active lifestyles and mental wellbeings, such as reductions in depression, anxiety and body mass index, as well as increases in life satisfaction and quality of life. Physical exercise during gardening is sufficient to trigger complex activity within our brains which releases chemicals that not only help us to feel good but also helps to protect and improve our cognitive function and behaviour.

Gardening is also a great way to top up your Vitamin D. Your body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin: most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight whilst gardening or being outside in a garden. Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy and our immune system and mind resilient.”


To learn more about how gardening improves our wellbeing, and how to create a garden – indoors or outdoors – to reap the benefits, check out RHS Your Wellbeing Garden by Dr Alistair Griffiths and RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medal-winning designer Matt Keightley.

So, go ahead and make the most of gardening week. Soak up the health benefits, get your daily dose of vitamins and enjoy your very own home-grown greenery,  enriched with feel-good power to create the ultimate beautiful green space that you deserve.


Whilst we're on the topic of the great outdoors, why not read our top tips on how to sleep when camping.