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On National Gardening Exercise Day, June 6, we appreciate the bodybuilding activity that is gardening by picking up our trowels and toiling in our gardens! Not only is it so satisfying to grow your own flowers or herbs from seedling to sprout to a full-grown plant, but it’s also great exercise! Any gardener will tell you that squatting to pick weeds or water a seedling will get those quads burning. Besides, working in the hot sun adds an extra athletic challenge.
History of National Gardening Exercise Day
The history of gardening is so old and intertwined with agriculture that it can be challenging to tell where farming ends and gardening begins. However, it’s clear that the first enclosures in forests and wild spaces were made all the way back in 10000 B.C. — humans used these enclosures as a kind of primitive landscaping, as well as to produce food. It’s probable that the first real farms and gardens were established in Mesopotamia.
Gardening flourished all over the world — and almost at the same time! While evidence of ancient rice cultivation was found in China in 7000 B.C., corn was found in Central America, and so on. All over the world, different flowers, produce, and herbs sprung up and were domesticated, then shared. By 1100 B.C., gardens had moved beyond agriculture, cropping up in front of temples and around public buildings.
Between 100 BC and 100 A.D., books on horticulture, agriculture, and botany started to take off. They depicted everything from rural life and herbal medicines to waterworks that were placed in gardens. Letters described beautiful villa gardens teeming with carefully domesticated and cultivated plants. ‘Scholar gardens’ and palace gardens reflected culture and government as civilizations flourished. The study of botany emerged in the 1600s, followed by botanical gardens.
In the past century, gardening has undergone more trends than we can count. The 1910s were defined by World War I victory gardens and influenced by art nouveau, while the 1920s and 1930s were preoccupied with the arrival of potted plants on the market. The idea of the classic American backyard featuring a modest garden and manicured suburban lawn arrived in the 1950s.
Since the environmental awakening of the 1960s, much of gardening has been dominated by principles of sustainability and environmentalism. Many gardeners dream of patches full of low-maintenance, native plants, with house plants like succulents sunning themselves indoors. Though gardens have definitely changed throughout the centuries, it’s clear people have always loved their plants!
National Gardening Exercise Day timeline
The first enclosures of outdoor spaces, basically gardens, begin — these ‘forest gardens’ were an example of early landscaping, as well as a source of sustenance for families.
Quite a bit of gardening pops up — like peanuts grown in Peru and apples along the Nile but there’s nothing quite like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon!
Around this time, the Roman Empire begins sharing seeds, plants, and information on agriculture and horticulture — gardening begins to spread and taking off.
The first botanical garden in Europe is established by Luca Ghini — the gardens are located in Pisa.
Hearkening back to gardens of ancient times becomes a trend — wildlife gardens containing native plants become increasingly popular, as they are less structured and complement natural ecology.
National Gardening Exercise Day FAQs
Where is National Gardening Exercise Day celebrated?
The United States.
Are there other national holidays on June 6?
Yes! There are many holidays on June 6, including D-Day, National Eyewear Day, National Higher Education Day, National Yo-Yo Day, National Drive-In Movies Day, and National Applesauce Day.
Are there other National holidays related to gardening?
Yes! March is National Flower Month, Plant a Flower Day is on March 12, Garden Meditation Day is on May 3, and Plant Something Day is on May 19.
National Gardening Exercise Day Activities
Get gardening in your own home
Whether it’s a succulent on your kitchen table or a flower box at the windowsill, small gardens can exist anywhere in your home! They’re beautifying, cleansing for the air, and add purpose to many people’s lives. While it’s not as much of a workout to spritz a fussy herb plant as plowing the fields of a farm, you can still add extra exercise to your gardening habits.
Visit a community garden
Depending on where you live, community gardens can be exclusive. If you’re lucky enough to get into one, use it as much as you can! For an extra bit of exercise, walk to the community garden if you’re able to.
Make gardening a workout
Today is the day to ditch any power tools that make gardening easier. If you don’t typically use any, try incorporating a few extra squats or stretches into your gardening regime! Making both gardening and exercising a habit will only make it more likely you’ll stick with it. Both your body and your plants will thank you.
5 Fun Facts About Gardening
Plants — they’re listening!
It turns out the people who sing to their plants aren’t crazy after all because plants can hear you — the vibrations may aid plant growth.
Redwoods are the world’s tallest trees
While you might not be gardening a redwood on your balcony, it’s still interesting plant trivia — these giants mainly grow along the California coast.
Bees are your garden’s friends
While we may not feel super comfortable with bees buzzing around us as we garden, it’s important to remember that they actually provide a crucial service for plant health — pollination.
Gardening burns calories!
A gardener who spends 30–45 minutes out in the sun tending their crop is likely to burn up to 300 calories.
Gardens need earthworms
These creepy crawlies help clean the soil our plants take root in by recycling organic material into nutrients for the earth.
Why We Love National Gardening Exercise Day
It provides some exercise!
If you’re not convinced by the fact that there’s a whole holiday celebrating the exercise you can get while gardening, we don’t know what to tell you. Just think about all the squats to be done while planting seeds!
It’s a great reason to get outside
We all need vitamin D, but it’s just so easy to stay inside and watch Netflix. Having some plants to care for will get you outside and get some sun on your face!
You’ll get fresh produce
Nothing tastes better than a tomato that you grew by yourself. Knowing no chemicals are on the fruits, vegetables, seeds, and herbs you eat gives a person fantastic peace of mind — plus, they’re free!
National Gardening Exercise Day dates