This Saturday is the first Saturday in May, and that means curtain twitchers may be in for a bit of a surprise. In nice, suburban, urban and rural gardens all around the UK and beyond, ordinary gardeners will be doing something a little out of the ordinary – gardening in the nude! Saturday is World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD), which means that many gardeners will be pottering, potting up and polytunnel gardening in the buff. Why? Well – why not?
What is World Naked Gardening Day About?
WNGD is an annual tradition that promotes a wholesome enjoyment of the garden. It also promotes an unashamed acceptance of the human body. The whole thing is free of political pressure. This is all about having a jolly good time, relaxing and having a bit of a laugh. So, as many hope the weather is warm and choose which garden jobs to do disrobed (of course, if you have a polytunnel you can get out in the garden naked in any weather!) let’s take a quick look at the origins of WNGD and discuss some of the reasons why you should consider donning your birthday suit and getting out into your polytunnel garden this weekend.
The Origins of World Naked Gardening Day
World Naked Gardening Day was founded by the consulting editor for Nude & Natural Magazine, Mark Storey and permaculturalist Jacob Gabriel as a project of Body Freedom Collaborative. The idea was inpired by the success of the World Naked Bike Ride, with which both of these founders were involved, ad by Mark Storey’s own experiences of gardening naked with his wife in their own backyard.
Mark Storey has noted that the WNGD is not owned by any particular organisation. It is also not designed to be overtly political. Without much promotion, the idea has taken hold around the world and taken on a life of its own. So why are so many people drawn to the idea of gardening naked?
Why Garden Naked this Saturday?
There are actually a surprising number of benefits to taking some time to tend your portion of the world’s garden clothed as nature intended. These may include:
- A sense of freedom and release.
- A boost to self-confidence and positive self-image.
- A laugh – laughing relieves stress and promotes good health.
- A greater connection to the natural world, which also busts stress and improves mental health.
- The health benefits of more vitamin D on your whole body.
Some people take part on public naturist events, though many will simply indulge in this amusing pastime at home. If you wanted, you could garden naked in your polytunnel or a secluded garden area. No one but you would ever know! Will you be celebrating World Naked Gardening Day this year?
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.