By: Blonde Two
You may or may not have noticed but it is now spring and definitely the time of year when we should all be getting ourselves off the sofa and out into the fresh air. Big expeditions are fantastic but don’t often fit into that spare 15 minutes you get between jobs at home (especially when you work from home like I do). What does fit into that timespan however is a visit to the garden. I have talked about gardening’s negative image before but you only have to check out the social media gardening world to find out that green fingers have recently been enjoying a publicity makeover. Once I am out in my garden I find it difficult to drag myself back inside again but I have to admit that it sometimes take me a while to open the back door.
Slipper gardening is my way of combatting that initial reluctance but also ensuring that I can spend a bit of time each day out in my own little green space. Slipper gardening, by the way, is any gardening that you can do in the comfort of your slippers (hard bottomed ones recommended). Without creating any additional concreted or paved space, I have included areas in my garden that I can enjoy quickly and without even changing my shoes. Of course, what usually happens once I am out there is that I see jobs that require more time and sturdier footwear. Sometimes I have time to change and get those jobs done, sometimes I don’t but what always happens is that, no matter how long my garden potter, it leaves me refreshed and ready to carry on with my day.
Here are my top tips if you fancy your own bit of slipper gardening:
- Invest in a greenhouse. Mine came second hand and Mr B2 and I had great fun putting it up (I recall finishing it at midnight). Greenhouses offer plenty of opportunity, mainly to grow more fussy plants but also, if you can squeeze in a chair, to pretend you have a conservatory.
- Replace small sections of lawn with gravel. Whilst lawns do offer great habitat and absorb surface water, they are not really very good for walking on in your slippers. My lawn was tiny and failing so I replaced it all with gravel (it still absorbs surface water). I use the gravel area for pots, contemplation and outdoor cooking.
- Create paths that will lead you otherwise neglected areas of your garden. If you have a wide border or bed that seems impossible to tackle, convert a section of it to path or stepping stones that will allow you to walk through in your slippers and do a bit of weeding, pruning or even vegetable picking.
- Build raised beds. My raised beds are multiplying. Built for my by my son from scrap bits of wood, they have become my favourite garden growing areas. My latest raised bed now has two tiny apple trees planted in it and can be conveniently reached (in slippers) from the gravel path I have made next to it.
- Be creative with whatever you find in the garden. I haven’t succumbed to growing plants in toilets yet but I have got lettuces perched in old chimney pots, kale planted in green Sainsbury’s boxes and a raised bed made from planks and old bricks. I have also collected pebbles from around the garden (not the beach) and pushed these into the earth around one of my smaller raised beds to make a temporary dry area on which I can tread.
If this all sounds rather eccentric to you please don’t be put off. The message hear is clear. Gardening is good for you and good for our environment. If you make it easier for yourself to do the things that are good for you, you are far more likely to do them regularly. Get outside into your garden and make a few plans. I promise you, slipper gardening is the way forwards.