The first Saturday in May is set aside for gardening and convening with nature … in a most natural way. Why, you ask? Because it’s World Naked Gardening Day, that unofficial holiday when people are encouraged to tend to their portion of the world’s garden unclothed.
Celebrated on May 4 in 2019, it’s now in its seventh year.
“Gardening has a timeless quality to it and anyone can do it — young and old, singles or groups, the fit and infirm [and] urban or rural,” according to the event’s website. “An elderly lady in a Manhattan apartment can plant new annuals in her window box, families can rake leaves in their backyards [and] free-hikers can pull invasive weeds along their favorite stretch of trail.”
Celebrate World Naked Gardening Day together
That’s exactly what they plan to do at Mountaindale Sun Resort in northwestern Oregon.
“For our members it’s a chance to get together and do something social,” said Lexi Hoxey, public relations director for the resort. “Beyond that, the day is about encouraging people to go out and garden in the nude on their own or with others as part of a community.”
Mountaindale is a 60-year-old nudist resort about 30 miles west of Portland, Oregon.
On World Naked Gardening Day, club members will gather for an organized, clothing optional, work party.
“All of our members are active in taking care of the resort,” Hoxey said. “They work on our grounds on the landscaping around the buildings and pools and clearing our four miles of hiking trails [and] the field for the [flying disc] golf course.”
That kind of activity is the cornerstone of the annual event, according to the WNGD website.
“Events like World Naked Gardening Day can help develop a sense of community among people of every stripe,” according to the website. “It’s fun, costs no money, runs no unwanted risk [and] reminds us of our ties to the natural world and does something good for the environment.”
In what can be turbulent times, WNDG fans like to point out the day has no political agenda and is not owned by or organized by any one particular day. Rather, fans of the nudist lifestyle are encouraged to adopt the day for themselves and make it their own.
“Whether you are a gardener, a naturist or someone who wants to try something different [World Naked Gardening Day] is a lovely chance to get together with others and to connect with the world at large,” Hoxey said. “Naturism in general is about being in tune with the environment and taking care of the plant [and] World Naked Gardening Day is about spending time in your particular corner of the planet [and] experiencing it fully.”
A feeling like no other
The physical act of being outdoors and naked is a joy unlike any other, Hoxey said.
“Think how good the warm sun feels on you when you lie by a pool or on the beach,” she said. “Getting out and gardening in the sun naked is about feeling the sun on your body and that wonderful, soothing sensation.”
There’s also a practical side to gardening in the buff.
“You don’t need to worry about washing muddy clothes,” Hoxey said.
Because the first weekend in May is also around the first time people get outside and into their gardens, Hoxey said it can feel very much like a spring rebirth.
And as far as being naked in the company of others?
“It really just makes sense from a body positivity standpoint,” Hoxey said. “There are an infinite variety of body types, but we all have bodies.”
And yes, there can be a bit of personal discomfort at first.
“Once you get over the initial moment of worry about being naked in your backyard and wondering if your fence is tall enough, it’s just like, ‘ahhh,’” Hoxey said. “Just let yourself be at one with the world and be mindful of rose bushes.”
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