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ACHIEVERS SPOTLIGHT
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Step into spring: how to become an expert in the garden with Nutrilite

Nutrition & Wellbeing

Tending to a garden, big or small, can help you feel calmer and more creative. Here’s everything you need to know…

From nurturing ingredients from seed to supplement, and harnessing the benefits of botanicals with sustainable farming methods, the brand Nutrilite has long appreciated the power of nature. Now, with many of us remaining close to home, we have come to value our gardens and outdoor spaces – even if that is just a balcony – in the same way.

Our new-found love for all things green is perhaps not so surprising; numerous studies show that being around greenery and plants, touching them and even smelling them can benefit our state of mind. Plus, getting your hands dirty in the garden or with some flower boxes can feel hugely rewarding and help flex your creativity. In fact, a recent survey* suggests that those aged between 25 and 39 are spending twice as much money on gardening now as they were before the recent lockdowns. This stat shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering that many of us have had to spend far more time in our homes than usual which, naturally, leads us to examine our space more closely and want to make some improvements.

Spending time outside in our gardens, or just soaking up the last of the day’s sun from a balcony or window, is a wonderful opportunity to ease an overactive or anxious mind, take a few steadying breaths and feel ourselves relax. So, if you have found yourself tempted to take up gardening this spring, but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered…

Create a container garden

Spring is an important time in the gardener’s calendar; it’s when bulbs start to push through the ground and when long-dormant flowers start to bloom again. But, not everyone has a garden and flower beds for planting. Instead, many of us have either a small patio or courtyard. The great news is, less space does not equal less potential.

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You can grow plants in pretty much anything, but be sure you do the following:

  1. Use a container or any vessel that has holes in the bottom to allow proper drainage.

  2. Add gravel, pebbles or broken crockery at the bottom of your container to help excess water drain away.

  3. If you’re planting seeds, create drills in the soil to act as channels when you sprinkle or place the seeds in the soil.

  4. Follow seed packet instructions carefully to ensure your seeds are placed at the correct depth.

  5. Consider covering your pot with some netting to keep birds away.

Lavender grows well in pots and blesses your space with vibrant colour and heady scents. Edibles like herbs, tomatoes and strawberries are good in pots too. Lastly, perhaps one of the best things about container gardening is that you can stretch your garden to new heights; position your pot against a wall or fence and plant climbers like jasmine and clematis.

Plant now, enjoy later

A little forward planning can pay dividends in your garden regardless of whether it’s large or small. Planting some bulbs in spring, after the last frost, will deck your garden or patio in colour in summer. Dahlias, begonias, lilies and peonies are excellent options and will bloom in a riot of colour in the summer months. Again, ensure you’re planting in well-drained soil and, unlike when you’re potting plants, you need to bury bulbs deeper into the soil. A good rule of thumb is to plant them almost three times as deep as they are tall. Once they are watered well, you just need to exercise some patience.

How to garden in small spaces

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No garden? No problem. You can still surround yourself with vibrant and sweet-smelling plants even if you only have a balcony or windowsill to work with. Just be sure to consider these questions:

  1. How much sunlight will your plants get on your balcony? If it’s not much, you need to introduce plants that prefer shadier conditions.

  2. Does your balcony often feel the brunt of fierce wind? Then you should use sturdier plants that will withstand the assault.

Once you have answered those questions, the sky’s the limit because, in theory, anything that grows well in a pot will also thrive in a container on your balcony. Space is usually at a premium on a balcony so, again, think about plants, such as bougainvillaea and climbing roses, that will grow upwards so you don’t lose too much valuable floor space.

If you only have a windowsill to work with, you can easily bring the outside in, with smaller potted plants such as ferns, which have also been shown to improve air quality. You can also place herb boxes on windowsills throughout the home, not just in the kitchen, as they fill the space with their scent, plus they’re always on hand to add flavour to your cooking.

* LV Insurance Report: Millennials double down on their gardens during lockdown

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