World Naked Gardening Day: 7 practical & useful tips
I love gardeners. I consider myself one, and many of my friends are gardeners. I have weeded and tended various gardens for pleasure and profit, and now I work for a gardening magazine. But I am not putting my trowel up for World Naked Gardening Day, celebrated every first Saturday of May since 2005. Absolutely not. Much as I romanticise the notion of dancing under the lemon tree clothed only in moonlight to scare away possums and other pests, I draw a line in the compost here.
I have done my research. I know World Naked Gardening Day encourages people to tend their gardens unclothed, as nature intended, in the spirit of communion with all living things. A worthy ideal. But this must be a Northern Hemisphere invention, dreamed up to literally send shivers down the spine of feijoa-loving Southern Hemisphere gardeners bracing themselves – and their beloved subtropicals – for polar blasts at this time of the year.
But hey, that's just me. For those brave souls with green fingers and thick skin who do not share my reservations, we at NZ Gardener have come up with practical tips for gardening in the nude.
1. Stay away from rose bushes and brambles. This is not the day to put in prickly plants. Similarly, plants with sap, toxins and possible allergenic properties are best avoided. Instead, weed around your barenaked ladies and peter peppers.
2. Wear sunblock – yes, everywhere.
3. You won't have pockets for your secateurs and other useful bits, so keep a trug or small bucket at hand.
4. A kneeling pad protects your knees and could well prove useful in other positions.
5. Vigorous digging may help you keep warm. If you have nothing to dig up, working in the glasshouse could do the trick.
Warn your neighbours to keep their curtains closed or retreat to a more secluded patch. People have been arrested for flashing the neighbourhood.
7. Power tools of any kind are best avoided.
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I am told some gardeners have a looser interpretation of the "naked" part of the day, and a hat, gloves and one gumboot for your digging foot could count as accessories. Good to know.
And to my husband who volunteered to pose for the photo shoot for this story, that won't be necessary, dear. I do, however, appreciate your willingness to support my career with, well, everything you've got.
- NZ Gardener