PRUNING the bushes, mowing the lawn and weeding the flower beds don’t sound like particularly racy activities – but this weekend gardening is set to get a lot saucier.
That’s because Brits across the country will be picking up their tools – and dropping all their clothes – for the now-iconic World Naked Gardening Day.
Model Emily Ratajkowski has previously shared naked pictures of herself in her garden[/caption]
Fans of the social media movement have celebrated the annual day on the first Saturday of May for the last 15 years, stripping off and posting pictures online celebrating the joys of working as naked as Mother Nature intended.
It’s a day that has won celebrity backing. Famous faces who like to go ‘au naturel’ while trimming their bushes include green-fingered goddess Kelly Brook who strips off to get an even tan, and Clueless star Alicia Silverstone.
In 2018, daytime telly legend Phillip Schofield shared pictures of himself on Snapchat, watering his plants wearing nothing more than a smile.
Here, six Sun readers who love nothing more than naked gardening tell us why they love planting bulbs in the buff.
‘I’m really confident in my own skin’
Tanning and Beauty Shop owner Gemma Mead, 36, is single and lives in Hampshire.
She says: “My body isn’t in bad shape for my age. I work out every other day and have got a gym in a shed in my garden.
It’s got all the mod-cons including rower, bike, treadmill. I run 5K every other day and do squats and weights too.
I sunbathe outside naked, so why not pull out the weeds, prune my apple blossom and cut back the stinging nettles in the buff too?
I use every space in my garden. I’ve got two huge rabbits, Garfield and Chelsea.
We should all be outside soaking up the sun as naked as Mother Nature intended.
I bought my home five years ago. It was built on a chicken farm and that means the soil is really rich.
One of the first things I did in the garden was plant some apple trees. I’ve got two which produce amazing apples.
I use them in my cooking and to munch on too. I’ve also got some grape vines which should be sweet enough to eat in the next couple of years.
I love my garden and spend as much time as I can in it.
While we’re in lockdown I spend as much time as I can outdoors and I am usually doing everything from sunbathing to having BBQs.
I’m really confident in my own skin. We’ve all got the same bits.
We should all be outside soaking up the sun as naked as Mother Nature intended.
Vitamin D is vital for our health and the best way to get it is by wearing nothing at all!”
‘I’m not prudish or inhibited’
Business owner Luana Riberia, 38, has two daughters and lives with her partner in Anglesey.
She says: “Being outside in nature is so freeing and makes me feel liberated.
I recently read about the supermodel Cara Delevingne explaining how being naked outside helps her to de-stress — and I am the same.
I feel comfortable in my skin. I’m not that person who is prudish or inhibited.
We were born naked and while I don’t walk around in public without clothes on I have never understood why certain bits need to be covered up.
When I need to de-stress, I’ll climb trees and swim in the river… Naked of course.
Three years ago my partner and I moved to Portugal, we wanted to be off-grid in the middle of nowhere surrounded by stunning woodland and rivers.
Hardly anyone walks by. So when I need to de-stress, I’ll climb trees and swim in the river… naked of course.
It is weather dependent, but I love being amongst the trees and plants.
I feel very relaxed and connected to nature. My partner is the real gardener but I do appreciate his work.
For work I’m online constantly. Pushing my hands through the soil helps me reconnect with the planet and tune into nature.
That’s why I also practice grounding and earthing. That’s walking barefoot outside to get the positive energy from the earth.
I don’t worry about having nothing on my feet because I’m used to it.
I changed my surname a couple of years ago to ‘Riberia’ which means river in Portuguese.
Pushing my hands through the soil helps me reconnect with the planet and tune into nature.
Living near a river is everything to me. We go to the local river when we are in Portugal to wash, I shower under the waterfall.
I’m always naked when we are tending to our plants and land outside.”
‘My bushes are looking full and healthy’
Karate teacher Christine Taylor is married and lives in Bolton.
She says: “I am not an exhibitionist but I feel really good in my body. It might not be the best one in the world but it is mine.
In 2008 I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. After almost dying in 2009 I had a colostomy bag fitted.
I feel happier and more confident in my skin today. I’m really appreciate how I look when I see myself naked.
I first got into going into the garden naked in our old house. When we’d had a couple of drinks I’d say to my husband, ‘Chase me round the garden with no clothes on!’
No one could see anything at all. There was an 8ft wall one side and a conservatory the other with high trees too.
It’s why after a few glasses of wine I’d instigate the ‘I dare you!’ We did it a few times and it just went from there.
Any excuse I can find I’ll be outside. I love feeling the sun on my skin while I’m watering my flowers.
I don’t understand why people get worked up about being naked. All bums are the same.
People panic in hospital with their gowns on and open at the back. It’s the same in changing rooms too.
We’ve all seen it before. Why should it be any different gardening outside as free as nature intended?
I love gardening and that’s why even if it’s snowing or raining – you’ll find me outside.
Now I’ve got my hanging baskets and tubs bursting with flowers. My bushes are looking full and healthy too.
It is like another room in the house. I’ve got a sofa and chairs with table and a hot tub too.
If I could be outside all the time I would be!
I’m the only one that does this — I think my friends will be shocked when they find out!
‘I want to video myself – but one false move and you’re exposed!’
This Morning gardener Michael Perry, 40, known as Mr Plant Geek, is in a relationship and lives in Windsor, Berkshire.
He says: “In my apartment, I can do my naked gardening every day of the year! I’ve got nearly 50 plants in my lounge, all different shapes and sizes. When you’re a plant addict, the number creeps up really easily.
I do a photo shoot once a year to mark World Naked Gardening Day.
This year, I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a video tour of all my house plants – but I’m not sure whether I’m cheeky enough to do that naked. One false move and you’re exposed!
Lockdown is the perfect time for naked gardening, actually.
It makes you feel in touch with nature and the Earth, and helps to slow down your mind a bit. But if you’re outdoors, don’t forget sunscreen – and make sure the neighbours don’t see you!
In terms of plants to avoid, I’d stay away from roses, stinging nettles and brambles! I’ve avoided injury by following my own good rules – but I’ve heard of people who’ve been hurt.
A plant called Euphorbia releases a sap when it’s hot that’s quite dangerous.
Brushing past it is not a good idea when you’re naked!
There are some really cool plants, though, that are very soft and tactile. One, Lambs Ears (Stachys lanata), has the feel of a really soft shagpile carpet.
Another, Paulownia tomentosa, has large, ovate leaves that are perfect for hiding behind on World Naked Gardening Day when you receive an unexpected guest.
I’d probably recommend avoiding all gardening tools!
Anybody can get involved in naked gardening. It’s something you usually do solitary – and it really is a great leveller for people. I’ve seen lots of different shapes and sizes.
Around five years ago, I pulled together a few guys in horticulture and we did a shoot at Kensington Roof Gardens to raise money for Perennial charity, which was a lot of fun.
It was like a male Calendar Girls.
Since then, we’ve done three or four seasons of a naked calendar – and even a naked skydive! However, we did wear morph suits that were flesh-coloured, so it wasn’t truly naked!
‘I have been stung on my bottom’
Claire Howard, 56, is married and lives in Banbury. She is a part time office worker and film extra.
Claire says: “In our family we were raised with the philosophy that we all have the same ‘bits’ and they are nothing to be ashamed of.
It’s an attitude I have taken with me into my adult life. That’s why I love the freedom of being naked in my garden.
Friends joke telling me, ‘You just want to get your kit off!’
I enjoy gardening in the nude. Why not pull up a few weeds while soaking up the sunshine too?
My English cottage garden might be small and paved but it’s an absolute joy to be in.
I am happiest outside when I can strip off. My husband prefers to be inside. He can’t be doing with the flies.
As soon as my jobs are done in the morning and after a ride on my horse — the garden beckons.
My house is at the end of a row of four cottages.
The bedroom windows from the second and third cottages can see into my garden. I’ve no doubt my neighbours have seen me starkers but they don’t mind.
I have been stung on my bottom. I nudged against a wasp and it fought back!
I’ve also caught my legs on brambles and been stung by some nettles. I’m hardy and don’t stress.
I enjoy a part-time career as a film extra. I’ve appeared naked as a ‘real woman’ for an advert and I’ve also stripped off for a Calendar Girls style shoot too.
In 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That December I underwent a mastectomy and reconstruction.
If people want to look then let them go right ahead and do so. I’m still me and proud that I am here.
When I have finished gardening I like to end the day with a glass of wine sat in the garden and listening to the birds.
I’ll close my eyes and feel the sun on my body — it’s bliss.”
‘There’s no using powered hedge trimmers or chainsaws!’
Andrew Wain, 37, is head gardener at Euridge Manor in Chippenham and lives on site with his wife Charlotte and daughter Izzy, 10.
He says: “I first tried naked gardening in 2014 with a charity calendar for Perennial.
We all got together in a group called the Grubby Gardeners. It was a spoof of the Oxford Rowers and people like that…
They’re all ripped – we’re not!
A few weeks after the first calendar, we ended up live and naked on Loose Women.
I wasn’t embarrassed… I was one of these people that was bullied all the way through school.
I had really low self-esteem and then I went to college and all that changed. You learn to just let go.
We’ve got far too many youngsters that are watching social media now and seeing immaculately toned bodies, and I think they need to see a variety.
For me it is far too cold in this country to be doing it all the time, but I’m lucky that my boss is quite laidback.
If he happens to look out of his window and see me posing naked for a picture, he doesn’t fuss!
Last year when I did the photo with the leaf blower I was waltzing around not realising that some of the guests were able to see. Luckily they thought it was funny!
I’ve not had any nasty injuries so far. There’s no using powered hedge trimmers or chainsaws though – that is not advisable.
more in fabulous
The leaf blower doesn’t have a suck function, so it’s fine!
I’ve been a gardener all my professional career and I’m lucky to live onsite, so I’ve been able to carry on pretty much as normal amid coronavirus. My pride is the lawn patterns I do here.
I’m currently fundraising again for Perennial by giving up drinking until the pubs re-open.”