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News Every Day |

I love gardening in the buff, feeling the breeze on my bits is wonderful – I even head to the park in the nude

WEARING nothing but a hand-made floral  crown Mary England, 35, poses behind a waist-high topiary bush for a photographer.

Using nearby green shrubs as props size 20 Mary is enjoying her annual May photoshoot in a local park.

Mary England loves stripping off in her back garden
Mary England
She celebrates World Naked Gardening Day every year
Mary England

As the life coach poses in the nude, she pays no attention to the shocked looks from people enjoying the communal space. 

Some call for her to cover up while others cheer her on as Mary waves to both her haters and her fans as she celebrates World Naked Gardening Day today.

Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, Mary says: “It’s been a decade since I started gardening naked.

“Planting, pruning and weeding in the buff is the best. I love the feeling of the wind and the sun on my bits.

“Every year I celebrate World Naked Gardening Day with a special photo shoot. 

“I don’t care if I am trolled. I am on a mission to show people the joy naked gardening can bring.

“I love strimming when I am starkers and tilling when I am topless puts me in touch with nature. 

“Naked gardening is great for stress relief, mental health, anxiety and your physical wellbeing. Everyone should do it and not just once a year” says Mary. 

BACK TO NATURE

But it isn’t just World Naked Gardening Day that sees Mary stripping off in nature.

“I love my backyard garden. I try to spend at least four hours a day meditating or pottering around in it.

“When the mood takes me, I’ll strip off and be at one with mother nature. I am not bothered who sees my body.  

“My rolls, lumps and bumps tell a story – It’s my story and I am proud of it. 

“Just because I am not a svelte size 8 doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy ‘strip gardening’.”

Mary England
Mary says she loves getting back to nature in the outdoors[/caption]
Mary England
She admits that she has ended up with the odd naked gardening related injury[/caption]

World Naked Gardening Day is celebrated globally on the first Saturday of May by gardeners and non-gardeners.  

This year it falls on Saturday May 4 and marks the event’s nineteenth anniversary.

The gardening nude day was first held in May 2005 founded by Mark Storey an editor for the US based  Nude & Natural magazine and Perma-culturalist Jacob Gabriel, as a project of Body Freedom Collaborative.

It was started to promote guerilla gardening in urban areas, where people turn unloved roundabouts or unused garden areas in tower blocks into communal flower and vegetable beds.

It was so successful the event has evolved into a global celebration of ‘au natural gardening’.

“I loved the fact WNGD started with guerrilla gardening. I guerrilla garden  as much as possible  to help reinvigorate  and reclaim dead spaces,” she says.

JOYFUL NUDITY

Mary who lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her long-term partner, Matt, 35 is celebrating nude in her back garden.

“My front garden is full of well-manicured bushes,” she says.

“The back is wild– it features fruit trees, a wild English garden section and carefully tended garden beds.

“For me naked gardening brings joy. It allows me to reconnect with mother nature.

“I love enjoying the summer sunshine all over my body when I am planting seedlings. It makes me feel alive. 

“I enjoy being buff in the backyard whenever I can. If it upsets the neighbours, they should look away but I think they’re used to my wild and wacky antics now.”

Mary says she’s well aware that not everyone will be as accepting of her.

CRUEL TAUNTS 

“I know some people will see me and think I should cover up.

“People will likely moan about my fat body, but I smile at them and encourage them to be joyous, not grumpy.

“I’m a plus size girl who loves her body. I don’t care if people see my rolls and belly. It’s me and in nature every shape and size are welcome.”

Mary started celebrating Naked Gardening Day as part of her recovery from mental illness which included obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD, Tourette Syndrome and PTSD. 

“Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and gratitude journaling helped me learn to live with my mental illnesses by focussing on positive things and finding joy in the world,” she says.

Mary was working as an assistant manager at a psychiatric rehabilitation facility running daily living and  creativity courses as part of giving back when  she first learned about naked gardening day. 

What is World Naked Gardening Day?

This event is held every year, and gardeners and non-gardeners celebrated by going out in their gardens and doing the chores naked.

Besides it being an event, World Naked Gardening Day (WNGD) is an organisation founded by consulting editor of Nude & Natual magazine, Mark Storey and permaculturist Jacob Gabriel.

It was founded on Saturday, September 10, 2005, in collaboration with Body Freedom Collaborative (BFC).

It is not something which had huge investments made into it, because the founders believe that this clothing freedom day will grow on its own from people seeing the value in it.

A website was initially created but the growth of the event happened from the participation.

This event is also supported by The Naturist Society, Clothes Free International and the American Association for Nude Recreation.

It also became a collaborative project with Naturist Education Foundation, Inc. in 2012.

This event is described as “an annual tradition that celebrates weeding, planting flowers and trimming hedges in the buff.

“While it’s linked to a movement of nudists who promote wholesome and unashamed acceptance of the human body, the day is meant to be funny, lighthearted and non-political.”

The founders also said that “besides being liberating, nude gardening is the second only to swimming as an activity that people are most ready to consider doing nude.

“I created a course based around celebrating weird and wonderful days of the year. The first I found was Uncommon Instruments Day. My students loved it.”

I have ended up with a few scratches on my bum

Mary England

Mary kept researching and decided to set up her own business as Merriment Maker which includes a podcast, running activity courses and doing guest lectures which sees her blogging about all the unusual days of the year she celebrates. 

“All the unusual global celebrations inspire me to find joy in everyday life,” she says.

“I saw all the wacky and unusual global; celebration days from ‘Pirate Day’ to ‘Bee Day’ or ‘Pink Day’ to ‘Naked Gardening Day’ as a way of helping myself and people be more joyful.”

As a result, Mary, who aims to celebrate as many wacky days of the year as possible, has become a published author, life coach, event speaker, podcaster, and team building facilitator. 

EXTRA SPECIAL DAY

“For me World Naked Gardening Day is extra special,” she says.

“It reminds me of running naked through the garden as a child. It’s something everyone can do and have fun doing.

“It also reminds me of how far I have come in my recovery. Finding joy in living can help you battle mental health issues.

“When I celebrated my first WNGD in 2013 I was terrified.

“I was overweight. I was in recovery and therapy for mental health issues. It was a challenge for me to strip off and find the confidence to do it.

“But I refused to wimp out and I loved it. It was amazing and so much fun. If I can do it, anyone can do it.” 

According to recent surveys Mary isn’t alone when it comes to gardening naked.

An Ipsos poll recently last year revealed that 14% (or 6.75 million adults) in the UK describe themselves as Naturists or Nudists.  

A similar poll conducted in 2011 confirmed the figure at 3.7 million. 

GARDEN WITH CAUTION

But according to Mary, gardening naked does come with a few hazards.

“I have ended up with a few scratches on my bum and  watch out for thorns in your feet. I love not wearing shoes as it’s a sensory ground experience.” she says.

“If you are fair skinned, pop on some sunscreen and a hat. I use my floral crowns to keep the rays out of my eyes.

“If you slip over and end up with mud on the bottom or boobs, see it as a mud mask. It’s great for the skin.”

Mary says she has encouraged many of her friends to take part in the global event.

“They started out shy but when they share their pictures with carefully placed garden utensils, leaves and flowers they get rave reviews,” she says.

“My advice is grab a shovel or a rake, get some seedlings and strip off and plant and prep in the buff. 

“It’s fun in the sun and you definitely won’t be the only one doing it.”            

Mary England
This year she has celebrated with a naked photoshoot in her local park[/caption]
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