New year’s resolution: new daily habit

15 minutes of green author Sharon de Botte

Those of us fortunate enough to have our own gardens know the benefits. Last year, more than ever before, we found out how much we valued our green spaces.

In a survey of 2000 people, commissioned by the RHS after the first 2020 Lockdown:

  • 70% said that having a garden helped their mental health
  • 60% felt that gardening had helped their physical activity
  • over 50% said they would value their garden more in future.

So it’s a no-brainer – let’s get out in our gardens this year!

Bend your knees when you are weeding


… you also have kids, elderly relations, a job, a house … there are meals to cook, rooms to tidy, a boss to keep happy, a dog to walk, a gym membership to use … the list is endless.

I know, I know …. there aren’t enough hours in the day. In fact, no matter how much you love gardening and/or love being in your garden, it always seems to end up at the bottom of your ‘to do’ list. A few weeks pass and before you know it the weeds have taken over the borders, the unpruned shrubs are becoming unrecognisable and the untended lawn is more moss than grass.

It seems overwhelming and suddenly you stop loving your garden quite so much.

I get it. I’ve been there.



the ethos of this website is to turn the chore of gardening into a pleasure, 15 minutes at a time.

15 minutes of gardening a day adds up to more than 90 hours of gardening a year. Just imagine how 90 hours of weeding, digging, planting and pruning will transform your garden.


15 minutes of green … every day

You can do anything for 15 minutes, so make 15 minutes of gardening your new daily habit in 2021 and enjoy your green space, be it well tended, dishevelled or completely out of control. Believe me, mine fluctuates between all three.

It doesn’t matter how many jobs there are to do or what your garden looks like. Pick a task from the monthly checklist, grab your tools and get out there. Feel the sun, wind or rain on your face and savour the fresh air, relish the changing colours of the seasons and enjoy the wildlife that shares your space.

Your garden will flourish … and so will you!

Author of - Sharon de Botte
Happy New Year!

A safe space

The advice is clear: STAY AT HOME and prevent deaths. Now that we are confined to our homes for all but essential reasons, any of us with a green space of our own should be feeling extremely blessed right now. I know I am.

stay at home
The advice is clear – stay at home!

Our gardens offer safe full-time access to fresh air and sunshine, and provide us with a purpose. Most importantly, in this time of heightened anxiety and uncertainty, they are a crucial means of maintaining our mental wellbeing.

Haven from Covid-19
I can think of worse places to be in a lockdown

Working from home

I am working full time from home at a desk-based job, so my time in the garden remains limited to 15-minute bursts of activity. Given the ever-stricter curbs on daily life that we are now getting our heads around, those 15 minutes spent outside, working with plants and reconnecting with nature, seem even more precious.

Physical and mental benefits

The benefits of gardening are well documented and numerous.

  • Provides regular easy access to fresh air and sunshine.
  • Provides an opportunity for ‘moderate’ physical activity – why not burn a few extra calories.
  • Helps to maintain heart, muscle and bone health.
  • Relieves stress.
  • Improves mood.
Garden for your physical and mental health
There is no place I’d rather be right now

In these scary times, our gardens offer a safe place away from Government press conferences, social media memes and toilet roll hunts … as well as from Covid-19 itself. So if you are feeling anxious, stressed, helpless, confused or angry (I’ve certainly experienced all of those emotions in the last 7 days), turn to your garden. It’s waiting for you.

Stay home, stay safe, stay positive!

Simply …

It’s been a challenging week. I’ve not felt well, work has been hectic, and the rain and wind have been battering the garden in equal measure. But this morning ‘the sun came out and dried up all the rain, and incy wincy spider’ … well, there are plenty of those about. So, my 15 minutes of green today didn’t involve weeding or pruning, walking or cycling. It was simply … 15 minutes of green.

Simply November sunshine
November sunshine

Watch and listen

I spent 15 minutes of green revelling in the mirror stillness of the pond, the warmth of the sunshine and the vibrant hues of leaves of varying shapes and shades. I listened to melodious birdsong, and delighted in watching a small tortoiseshell searching for a place to settle and blue tits flitting between bird table and nuts.

An added bonus

And then, an added bonus. The distinctive secretive scurrying of a wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) as it searched among the rocks around the pond for insects and spiders. Dumpy yet delicate. I wouldn’t have spotted this fabulous little bird if I hadn’t taken the time to simply stop and watch the goings on around the garden.

Wendy the wren

Take 15 minutes to simply be

So, for 15 minutes, I forgot the head cold and the mountain of work waiting for me on my PC. What a perfect morning.