Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nude gardening to beat the heat

"When you're out there with a gentle breeze on you, every last hair on your body feels it. You feel completely connected with the natural world in a way you just can't in clothes."  
- Barbara Pollard

As hot as it has been outside lately, it's not uncommon to see gardeners shedding more and more clothes as they work in the garden. If you decide to go completely au naturale, I have two words of advice for you. Use Sunscreen.

Sure, I could offer more words of advice, such as the penalties for indecent exposure (which can include jail time AND a hefty fine), but what fun would that be? Maybe it will help us all stay a little cool if we at least THINK NAKED while we are out there gardening.

So in an effort to help you pass the time while you are taking a break from the heat, here are some thoughts on nude gardening:
  • Did you know that July 5 - 11th is Nude Recreation Week? I didn't either. Nude Recreation Week began as Nude Recreation Weekend in 1976 in an effort to encourage first time nudists to enjoy "clothes-free" recreation wherever they are.
  • But wait! There is also a World Naked Gardening Day, which we already missed. The fifth annual World Naked Gardening Day was celebrated this year on May 8th. While visiting the World Naked Gardening Day website I learned "Second only to swimming, gardening is at the top of the list of family-friendly activities people are most ready to consider doing nude."
  • That website also led me to Abbey House Gardens, a unique and beautiful garden in England that is home to Ian and Barbara Pollard, authors of The Naked Gardeners. Their gardens are open to the public and they list the clothing optional days on their site.
  • I already knew that Alicia Silverstone likes to garden in the nude. She apparently picked up the habit from friend Woody Harrelson. She explained her propensity for doffing her duds to dabble in the dirt in an interview with Health magazine . “[It] probably started when I was doing my garden the first time,” she said. “I’d be out there, and it would be scorching hot, so I would take off all of my clothes and garden. And then I would jump in the pool and swim – and I always get in the pool naked. I used to spend a lot of time with Woody Harrelson, and he’s not afraid to get naked,” she added.
  • Other celebrities that have been hinted to garden in the nude include Shakira (the post I read just said that she likes to garden AND that she likes to be nude, but doesn't mention her doing both at the same time); Catherine Zeta-Jones and Eva Mendes, who was quoted as saying "I love being naked. I do everything in the nude, even the gardening. We're Cuban, and it's a hot island. Why not go nude?"
  • There is also a book (and accompanying website) out there called Gardening Nude . They aren't really about gettin' nekkid, though, but are "a Common Sense Guide to Improving Your Health and Lifestyle By Increasing Exposure to Nature, Cultivating a Green Mindset, and Building a Strong Community"
  • And the absolute BEST thing I found while poking around on the Internet during my gardening break is this great post on Planet Greenentitled: Naked is Bad (For Your Garden's Soil). This wonderful, eco-friendly post, lists several reasons that naked soil is bad, including: 1. Naked soil is vulnerable to erosion., 2. Weeds love naked soil., 3. Naked soil loses carbon, which provides nutrients to plants and soil dwelling organisms.
Okay. That's enough break time for me. I think I'll keep my clothes ON, add a little more sunscreen, and get back to the gardens!

** Links to some of my sources were left out of this post to keep the material PG rated.

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