Get green-fingered to combat Blue Monday

It’s Blue Monday, which is often dubbed the most depressing day of the year, due to the time we feel at our lowest ebb due to Christmas excess, post-festive debt and cold dark weather. However, did you know that gardening can help? Studies have shown that being outdoors, nurturing plants, watching flowers bloom and vegetables grow, as well as the exercise, will be enormously rewarding, boosting your mood and self-esteem. We look at some quick and easy garden activities that can help beat the blues.

Get creative with planters

If your garden's lacking in colour, why not plant up a colourful planter or two which you can stand on the patio, lawn or balcony. Whether you want to plant delicate flowers, hardy shrubs or fruit and vegetables, container gardens offer a flexible way for gardeners to be creative and is a quick and easy way to upgrade the look of your outdoor space. Pots work well in small gardens because they give you lots of flexibility. You can replace plants when they’re ‘over’ and change arrangements around so your garden always has a fresh vibe.

Grow your own

Containers are a great way to start growing your own. No matter the size of your space, simply begin by adding a few vegetables and herbs to your containers for some fresh produce come summer. Many first-time vegetable gardeners start with salad greens and herbs which can be planted in succession for a continuous crop every two to three weeks.

Plant a wildflower garden

A wildflower garden is a quick and easy way to bring colour to your own garden. They're also a perfect fix for an awkward or dreary spot outside. Most importantly, it only takes a few minutes to spread some seeds, and the bees and butterflies will come flocking.

Become a rock star

A quick and easy way to add some drama to your outdoor space is to make a rock garden. All you need is a pile of rocks which can be sourced from construction sites, woodlands or your local garden centre. Combine with some alpine plants for the ultimate showcase. Rocks can be used all over the garden, to edge beds and for decoration also.

Add a splash of colour

Sometimes all it takes to make your garden pop is to add some colour.

This can be as simple as painting your terracotta planters to give your garden a more contemporary look, or giving your fence, shed, patio slabs or wall a fresh lease of life.

Reuse old furniture

Why not upcycle some old and tired furniture that you may have stored away? Pallets make ideal vertical gardens, housing your potted plants or items like saucepans, teacups tyres or old sinks can be turned into mini flower beds.

Cater for wildlife

One of the most inexpensive ways to spruce up a garden is to attract wildlife into it. Watching garden birds can be both educational, calming and good for your mental health – the perfect way to spend some time during lockdown. Making a homemade bird feeder or shapes is a great family activity and will encourage many feathered friends to your garden.

Build your own compost heap

Collecting your garden waste and turning it into your own compost is free and can then be used for your planting plans next year. Gathering leaves and old foliage, as well as composting some food will ensure you have a nutritious mixture for your plants for years to come.

Bring the inside out

When you need to relax, transform your patio into a toasty, warm outdoor space for your family with the addition of comfortable cushions and luxurious throws. Create a twinkling ambience by adding fairy lights and stake lights to extend your time outside. In the colder temperatures, there is nothing cosier than huddling around a firepit or patio heater, that will keep your friends and family, not just in winter but warm all year-round.

Looking for more gardening advice to ease the January blues?

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