03 May 2014

Put Your Plants On

Just when you thought there couldn't possibly be any more spring time revelry, I'm here to tell you about World Naked Gardening Day.

Yup, you read that right.

Internationally celebrated on the first Saturday in May, gardeners around the world are encouraged to tend their plots au naturel. I suppose a sun hat would be acceptable, though I think not having a holster on my hip to hold my pruners would be an inconvenience.

Founded in 2005 as a way to interest people in getting back to nature there's a nod, of course, to the First Gardeners - Adam and Eve - who tended their Eden with nothing on, resorting only to fig leaves after they'd eaten of the forbidden fruit.

"Are you sure that's not poison ivy? Oh, look! Shiny!"
Adam and Eve, c. 1701-1704
Antonio Molinari  (1655-1704)

This year a group of professional gardeners in England have taken WNGD a step further by baring all to raise money for Perennial Gardeners' Royal Benevolent Society, a UK charity supporting people in horticulture. Taking their cue from the Calendar Girls, the Twitter formed group called Grubby Gardeners launched a social media campaign by posing in naught but their Wellies in order to reach their goal of raising £20K for Perennial in 2014.

The Grubby Gardeners pose for charity at the Kensington Rooftop Gardens in London
(photo: Jason Window via
Now, I enjoy walking bare foot on the lawn as much as the next gardener but deer ticks and poison ivy are enough to convince me that full coverage is required while I work, so I can't imagine what kind of gardening the proponents of WNGD are thinking of. I do, however, think the Grubby Gardeners' fund raiser is one brave way to get into the spirit of the day and help a worthy cause. So how about it - are you audacious enough to garden in the altogether? Public nudity laws vary, so check the local ordinance before you march out the door in your birthday suit. And don't forget your pruners.

If you're on Twitter, follow the #GrubbyGardeners fundraising efforts @PerennialGRBS.

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