By Stuart Williams
Autumn in the garden affords an opportunity to tame your bushes, says our writer, who shares how getting the garden back into shape also helps with mental and physical health.
Being outside makes us happier, eases anxiety, inspires creativity and boosts our immune system. It’s science and it’s called biophilia: the innate human instinct to connect with nature and other living beings. In the UK, a survey commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society revealed that 7 out of 10 of people believed that having a garden and engaging in regular activities such as watering or mowing helped their mental health during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
A flow state
Gardening also requires us to be fully present in the moment and focused on one thing at a time, as opposed to other aspects of our lives where multitasking is valued and information bombards us from all sides. Psychologists call this the ‘flow state’ and it happens when you feel fully engaged in what you’re doing and feel like you’re making progress.
After a long summer, what better time than now to get out into your garden and into a flow state? Not only are our minds and bodies in need of a little attention after the hot weather, but a summer of good rains, or no rain at all, has also changed the growth in the garden. It’s time to plant, nip, tuck and trim and get things back into shape for the last bit of action before winter sets in.
Groom the bushes
Get out your pruners, loppers and brush cutters and get to work. Bushes need trimming, topiaries need shaping and lawn edges need tidying, and all of this is easy when you have the right tools.
The new Rolux Magnum X 43cc Brush Cutter is a straight shaft machine designed to cut grass perfectly and neatly trim small shrubs and bushes. It comes with a nylon cutting line, a nylon head for trimming and a three-tooth metal blade (255mm) for cutting denser growth. The soft grip and foldable handlebars minimise vibrations so your ‘flow state’ won’t be disturbed, while a starter switch with safety lever and a safety harness will ensure you don’t injure yourself.
Benefit to the garden: By trimming bushes and removing dead wood, you are stimulating new and healthier growth and allowing neighbouring plants room to thrive. You can also check for diseased or pest-ridden areas and remove those too.
Benefit to you: Brush cutting will give you a moderate workout, and the repetitive yet rewarding nature of the work can induce a meditative state, and, more importantly, the self-righteous feeling of a job well done.
Get rid of dead wood
While the real job of pruning should wait for winter, if the trees in your garden are becoming overgrown and casting too much shade, or have a lot of dead and diseased wood, now is a great time to tame and rejuvenate them.
The writer recommends that what is needed is a lightweight chainsaw designed for the home gardener, like the newly launched Rolux Magnum X 45cc model. It has an automatic chain lubricant system for extended chain life and a fast chain brake system for enhanced safety. With a 40cm guide bar and an anti-vibration system, this compact chainsaw will have you prepared for any situation.
Benefit to the garden: By removing excess dead wood you will make way for new growth and increase the light and air available to surrounding plants. Less shade means more sunshine, and more sunshine means more growth and blooms for the plants beneath the canopy.
Benefit to you: You get to be a lumberjack for the day. Even Elizabeth Hurley swears by logging rather than hitting the gym. In an interview with entertainment magazine Extra in 2019, she admitted that for exercise she prefers to keep fit by gardening, saying “…cutting down a hedge, using my chainsaw to cut down a tree, logging, all of that stuff I do.” Well, if it’s good enough for Liz…? So, grab your chainsaw and get a sweat on while reconnecting with nature at the same time.
Stuart Williams is CEO of Rolux in South Africa. He adds: “With Rolux Magnum X power products at your side, getting your garden into shape is time well spent. Expect feelings of triumph to flow”. Thanks Stuart!