Spending time outdoors in nature is well-documented to benefit your health and well-being. You don’t need to travel long distances to get outside, enjoy an active lifestyle, and reap the benefits of the natural world. Spending time in your backyard nurturing plants and encouraging wildlife can help you appreciate the beauty of nature, the changing seasons, and the natural balance necessary for delicate ecosystems to thrive. Growing vegetables also creates a colorful and healthy sharing platter for relaxing alfresco dining in your backyard. Even without a lot of outdoor space, it’s easy to grow herbs on a windowsill or enhance your home interior with attractive plants and connect with nature at home.


Family sitting in the backyard together with a dog

Grow Edible Plants

Whether you develop a large vegetable plot in your backyard or nurture herbs indoors on a sunny windowsill, growing plants can help you connect with nature physically. By growing food, you can develop an appreciation of fresh, sustainable, and organic produce and how it gets to your table. It’s easy to grow cucumbers, bell peppers, and radishes to add color to a summer grazing platter. At the same time, hardier vegetables such as broccoli and parsnips will continue to grow even through the winter. Even if you don’t have much outdoor space, you can bring nature’s benefits into your home by adding attractive and practical plants. Tomatoes will thrive on a small balcony, while attractive dwarf fruit trees will enhance your inside space with aesthetics that reflect nature and help you feel connected to the living world outside.


Happy mother and daughter gardening in the backyard.

Attract Useful Pollinators

Fruit and vegetable plants in the garden need pollinators to thrive, and there are many ways to attract birds, bees, and butterflies to your backyard. In addition to adding more native plants to your flower beds, you can encourage useful insects by constructing a simple shelter or bug hotel made from twigs and leaves. Birds will enjoy a water source such as a small pond or birdbath, and hanging feeders from trees will provide them with a valuable food source, especially during the winter. After making your backyard more welcoming to living creatures, you’ll be able to enjoy observing them feeding and preening whenever you are sitting outside.


Invite feathered friends to your backyard oasis and delight in the charming visits, just like this beautiful Gray Catbird.

Organize a Backyard Scavenger Hunt

As well as encouraging you to spot the living creatures drawn to your backyard, organizing a scavenger hunt is a fun way to connect with the environment and explore all the other natural features in your backyard. All the family can play detective, search for items such as pine cones, petals, leaves, or stones, and check them off as they find them. As well as getting everyone outside in the fresh air, a scavenger hunt can help improve your understanding of the natural world, help you appreciate the changing seasons, and help you discover more about the balance of your garden’s delicate ecosystems.


Family playing together in their backyard.

Enjoy Mindful Alfresco Dining

Whether savoring a healthy sharing platter, a garden picnic, or a celebratory family barbecue, eating outdoors is a lovely way to enjoy healthy food while connecting with nature. Outdoor dining tends to increase social interaction, while the therapeutic effects of sunlight and fresh air help to reduce stress and improve your mood. In addition, while sitting and relaxing in your backyard, it’s easy to be more mindful of the calming sounds of birdsong and the uplifting sight of butterflies attracted by your flowering plants.


Happy family enjoying meal together in their backyard.

You don’t have to live in the country or travel long distances to enjoy the outdoors and develop a deeper connection with nature to reap the benefits that it can bring. It also provides you with fresh and healthy food to eat outdoors, and planting and nurturing fruit and vegetables in your home or backyard helps you become attuned to the rhythms of nature. Attracting and observing living creatures in your garden will help plants thrive and allow you to understand the interconnectedness of the ecosystems that they require.

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