Stellenbosch resident Roné de Bruyn and her beloved Shira are set to celebrate Garden Day this Sunday (9 October).

A day to show off your green-toed miracles and pet-friendly flair

Stellenbosch resident Ronnie De Bruyne and her sweetheart Shira are set to celebrate Garden Day on Sunday (October 9).

Stellenbosch resident Ronnie De Bruyne and her sweetheart Shira are set to celebrate Garden Day on Sunday (October 9).

From dogs and cats to window boxes of succulents and gardens full of green beans, research shows that caring for both pets and plants has the power to elevate an individual’s mental and emotional health.

Enter Garden Day 2022 – the perfect reason to get outdoors, grab your nearest and dearest pet(s), jump on the flower crown and celebrate pets and plants on Sunday (October 9).

Now in its seventh year, Garden Day was created by a group of enthusiastic gardeners who wanted to encourage people across South Africa to connect by celebrating their green spaces – no matter the size – and embracing the endless healing effects of these lush rest periods. But it is not only green spaces that make us beautiful mentally and physically.

“Pets and plants can lift a person’s mood by lowering cortisol levels, acting as a source of comfort, and increasing feelings of support,” said one of the movement’s founding gardeners, Gundula Deutschlander of Babylonstoren, a four-legged friend of the Doring.

“Both pets and plants give their caretakers a sense of purpose. Knowing your cat or dog is waiting for you to feed them and give them care and affection, gives you a daily reason to get up and shine each morning. As for plants, watering them regularly and tending to their soil provides a similar sense of caring. Protecting your garden from pests and preparing your roses for the winter makes you feel necessary to protect it.

“Research and literature suggests that by providing you with an additional sense of meaning, pets and plants can prevent you from feeling lethargic, increase your energy levels, and boost your overall productivity.”

According to Deutschlander, dogs alone cannot participate in Garden Day festivities. “Since the start of Garden Day, the team has been inundated with images of people around South Australia sharing photos of all their pets – including cats, sheep, horses and even rabbits – in flower crowns on Garden Day,” she said.

Deutschlander added that wearing a flower crown on Garden Day is a must, as it is the official symbol of the occasion.

“Once you make your own, outfit your pet with a homemade fresh flower collar. It’s easy to create, beautiful to look at, and can be made to match your flower crown, ensuring your four-legged friends are a part of your Garden Day celebrations.”

“Whether they are playing, lounging or resting, most of our pets are lucky enough to spend more time in our backyards, gardens, and green spaces than we do,” Deutschlander says. “So it’s only fair that we include them in our Garden Day celebrations.”

Follow GardenDaySA news, updates and inspiration on all social media platforms. Follow @GardenDaySA & #GardenDaySA and share your celebrations filled with nature and the quality of your garden by tagging us in your posts.

How to make a flower crown or a flower collar for pets

Prepare your pet for garden day with a homemade flower collar or crown. It’s easy to make, beautiful to look at, and can be made to match your flower crown, ensuring your four-legged friends will be a part of your Garden Day celebrations.

Here are some easy-to-follow tips on how to make or adapt a bodice or collar as a crown for our furry-legged friends:

  • Distract yourself from snacking while you measure his neck with the flower wire. At least two fingers should be able to fit under it. You don’t want it too tight.
  • Gather your garden shears, flower wire, masking tape, or pet-friendly flowers or herbs.
  • Fold the wire into a circle and build the base with greenery.
  • Glue or wire your colorful flowers to the base of the crown.
  • Put on their collars, use another treat to cheer them up, take a pose and remember to share your pet selfies with us by tagging us or using the hashtag #GardenDaySA #TuinDagSA.

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