“Grow on, Grow on, Grow on!”
Today, GroMór ambassador and Bord Bia Bloom show manager, Gary Graham is encouraging Irish people to take full advantage of this time to experience their garden or outdoor space and reconnect with nature, for their physical and mental health. GroMór is a countrywide campaign that aims to encourage Irish people to get growing, and through its website provides a wide range of useful tips, family-friendly activities and advice for growing plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables. The initiative is supported by Bord Bia and a network of independent garden centres and growers from all over the country.
Although garden centres are temporarily closed, they are offering extensive gardening advice and resources via the GroMór website, and some are operating online ordering services. This year’s campaign is encouraging people to spend time in their gardens, and regardless of size, reap the benefits and fun which gardening can provide. Gardening has been proven to reduce stress, blood pressure, and increase feelings of contentment. Recent research showed that almost 73% of Irish consumers claim to use their garden as a space for relaxing or ‘time out’ (Bord Bia Thinking House/Empathy Research, 2020).
Gary Graham, best known for being Bord Bia Bloom show manager and a judge on RTÉ 1’s ‘Supergarden’, is the GroMór campaign ambassador this year. Although Bord Bia Bloom will not proceed in its traditional form this Summer, there are plans to reimagine the celebrated gardening event as an immersive virtual experience and in the meantime, GroMór will offer all of the tips and advice home gardeners may need. Over the next six weeks, Gary will interview horticultural experts from garden centres around the country in a ‘Gary’s Gardening Tips’ series which will feature on GroMór social media channels each Wednesday at 11 am. Topics will include biodiversity tips, container gardening inspiration, growing herbs and advice for designing your perfect garden among other seasonal topics.
Speaking about the campaign, Gary Graham said, “Gardening is an excellent activity to keep our bodies and minds healthy at this time, and we also want to highlight that it can be great fun! We would encourage people to not worry about making a mess, that the real enjoyment comes from getting stuck into a task and learning along the way! GroMór is an excellent resource for gardening inspiration and advice for everyone who wants to get out and active in the garden this Spring. Be it parents at home with young children, or those in our society who are currently cocooning, the garden can provide endless entertainment – even if it is only to sit in and experience nature in all its glory”
Gary’s tips for growing good health in your garden this Spring:
- Reap what you sow: Growing a plant from seed to bloom is an extremely satisfying activity, instilling a responsibility on the gardener while also rewarding one’s efforts. Getting smaller hands involved can also raise a newfound appreciation for nature and its tangible results. Being outdoors also benefits overall health by breathing in better quality air, and getting necessary Vitamin D through sensible sun exposure.
- Be Active: With the weather getting warmer, the ‘green gym’ can help to enhance and maintain overall fitness levels. Gardening activities combine, strength, endurance and cardio exercise to great effect. Mowing a lawn with a push mower for just 30 minutes burns approximately 243 calories in exertion – that is the equivalent to the more strenuous activity of chopping wood for the same duration. Turing a compost pile for approximately 15mins exertion can burn in excess of 100 calories, or if you have restricted space, lifting a gallon watering can that is full of water in each hand is equivalent to holding 8-pound dumbbells.
- Get grounded: There are proven psychological benefits to connecting directly with nature through gardening activities. Whether weeding, planting, or trimming hedges; re-connecting with nature encourages people to see the beauty around them, and it also allows us to experience wildlife in their natural habitat.
- Remove visible weeds: An unattended flower bed is much like an unattended mind, it can become overgrown with weeds. By physically clearing a garden of unwanted growth and weeds, it can also provide inner clarity and calmness. The colour green is proven to have relaxing effects, helping to lower stress and blood pressure levels.
- Meditate in nature: The traditional seated act of mindfulness can easily be done in an outdoor setting, simply choose a comfortable area to sit in and be present. Allow nature sounds or nearby water features to guide the meditation for a relaxing experience. Alternatively, you might prefer to avail of mindfulness benefits through gardening. By focusing attention on completing a specific duty, this removes distracting thoughts and allows us to be present on the task at hand.
About the campaign
GroMór is a nationwide campaign which aims to encourage Irish people to get out, get healthy, get growing! The initiative is sponsored by Bord Bia in association with selected independent garden centers and Irish plant nurseries countrywide which promotes its 68 local garden centres and plant nurseries around the country. Traditionally, Irish consumers are encouraged to visit their local garden centre where they can avail from complimentary gardening advice suitable for all levels and lifestyles. This year, the campaign will focus on driving consumers to the GroMór website which is an extensive resource of gardening tips that covers plants, flowers, growing your own fruit and vegetables along with highlighting the many benefits and family-friendly activities that gardening can offer.