Nature is not only proven to make us feel good, it can also be a great way to connect with others – especially if we’re spending more time away from people during lockdown. Getting out may be trickier than usual and it's easy to feel isolated so we’ve found some ways to help connect with others that connect you with nature too.

Read on for some easy ideas for connecting as a family, with friends, with neighbours and a wider growing community, to stay safe and boost your wellbeing.  

1) Connecting as a family  

Growing and gardening is a good way to keep little ones occupied and to spark an interest in nature. It’s also a great way to spend time together as a family. For some inspiration, here are 10 top tips gardening projects for doing with kids.  

If you don’t have an outdoor space or can’t get out, there’s still ways you can bring the garden indoors. Try creating a grass-head “pet” in an old plastic bottle, growing in eggshells or decorating some mini plant pots. This list has some good tips for getting started 

2) Connecting with friends 

Looking for ways to stay connected with faraway friends? Invite them to join a virtual gardening club (a grow and tell) where you can stay in the loop on each other’s growing projects. Whether you’re sharing tips on growing the hottest chilies, sweetest cherry tomatoes, color-coordinated flower beds or running a sunflower growing competition – there’s so much to grow and tell.  

3) Connecting with neighbors  

We love seeing all the community groups and initiatives popping up across the country. Growing can be a great way to connect as a street or neighborhood. You could organise a social distancing street weeding? Or if you can’t get out, why not invite neighbours to pick any fruit, herbs or veg that you won’t be able to harvest?  

Did you know that you can grow a new plant by taking a cutting from another? Just like magic! Try asking on community groups if anyone has cuttings they could leave out on the street for you and others to collect. See our hack for how to grow cuttings from existing plants. 

4) Connecting with a wider online community  

DYK that you can connect with nature, without even leaving the house? There’s a growing (ah-ha) number of tips, videos and live events on everything from growing easy edible plants to building your own terrarium. You can even visit Kew Gardens from the comfort of your own sofa 

Lots of bloggers are posting tips and hosting virtual events such as live planting demos and Q&A sessions. If you missed it, check out our very own growing demo and Q&A by top gardener Jack Wallington. The Guardian’s list of the 20 best Instagram gardening accounts is also worth a look.