Planting Happiness

WORDS:: Chyka Keebaugh

PHOTOS:: Lisa Atkinson


I am definitely in my happy place when I am pottering around the garden. Boots on, gloves on and basket in hand; trimming and planting, cutting and gathering. 

There is just something so relaxing and comforting about being outdoors. The fresh air, the grass (or fake grass in my backyard!) and the fact that I can sit and look at the plants I planted, nurtured and trimmed myself puts me in a great space. Walking the dogs, exercising outdoors and even taking walks around the neighbourhood allow me to take a moment and appreciate nature.

My Grandmother's garden gave me a love affair with flowers, and particularly roses. She taught me how to cut a rose properly, how to stake up a tomato vine and how to make a posy of flowers from the garden look beautiful. A memory I hold so dear to my heart is our walks around the garden together; I would sit in the lower garden which was full of violets, and makeup posies for my friends and teachers.

Simple ways to enjoy the outdoors…

  • Plant a small herb garden. Whether it be in pots or a garden bed, I love that herbs can reward you twice. Once for looking great and secondly in your cooking, cocktails or simply grouped in a vase. They are cheap to buy, easy to replace and smell fantastic.

  • Trim those branches back! If you are like me and look out to a garden of large trees, there is something about taking a saw to some unruly branches. Decluttering your garden as well as your home can feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
  • Go to the local nursery and buy some colourful pansies to brighten up your garden. Plant them where you can see them from inside your home; I love looking out and seeing little pockets of colour in my garden.
  • Fill old terracotta pots with herbs, succulents or a collection of flowers - this is a great way to recycle old pots and bring them back to life!
  • If you love the sound of birds, encourage them into your garden with a hanging birdseed feeder or birdbath. 
  • Create a special place where you can enjoy a cup of tea and some time out - even if it is just to daydream. Giving your mind a break and your body a rest is something we often forget or put off in our busy schedules. 
  • Sit quietly on your back step or in your favourite sunny spot to just think. By giving yourself just 10 minutes a day to plan and think about the day ahead can really make a difference. It's all about starting your day in the right frame of mind, being the best that you can be; for yourself and others.

Need a little more inspiration…?

  • Create your own Fairy Garden, this is the perfect gift for a little one who loves to tinker about the garden. This was one of my favourite things to do as a little girl, and I had lots of fun making it as an adult as well!
  • By combining a selection of herbs, garden flowers and garden foliage you can create a gorgeous DIY garden Posie. This is DIY at it's finest, and it's also a quick and easy gift to make from your own backyard.
  • Collecting succulents and combining them into their own pot is so simple to do. Why don't you create your own? Steps on how to make your own succulent garden are right here. I love this idea as succulents live so well indoors and a pot like this works beautifully in a bathroom or on a coffee table, bringing that pop of green indoors.