How to Feel Yourself and Have a Sensual, Embodied Experience on World Naked Gardening Day

Have you tried nude gardening?

World Naked Gardening Day rolls around every year on the first Saturday in May, and this international outdoor holiday is not for the bashful.

A vertical picture of a woman kneeling in shallow water with wet hair hanging down. To the center and bottom of the frame is green and white text.

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But it’s an opportunity for you to get out there in nature and experience the feel of the dirt beneath your feet, the ornamental grasses tickling your nether regions, the shade of a tall tree on your bare back, grazing past the vines and veggies in your carefully planted rows without a spot of clothes on in between.

From Mundane to Sublime

Gardening, for most of us, is in large part utilitarian – we transplant and weed and water, trim and deadhead, mow and sow to create that perfect look.

While carefully tending those clean lines and lush grasses, and picking perfect produce, we might occasionally pause to watch a few flower petals float by on a warm breeze.

A close up of bare legs with yellow gardening boots, standing in the garden next to a watering can, with a small garden trowel and a gardening rake, on a soft focus background.

We garden to eat, to fill empty spaces, to create a calming and restorative oasis that we can relax in and enjoy, or even to impress the neighbors.

Sometimes, it can be a bit of a chore.

But gardening is really about sex. Those flowers that you love to dip your nose into, and that kaleidoscope of color that they provide?

Yup, those are sex organs, luscious and fragrant, calling to the bees and the butterflies to do their thing.

A close up macro picture of the petals of a bright red flower sprinkled with water droplets.

They happily flit about to sip nectar and pollinate, spreading the love around and making magic, setting off a spark that produces ripe, heavy, and delicious fruit, bursting with seeds.

A close up macro picture of the inside of a pink flower showing the anatomy.

Flowers come in a variety of styles, some deep like bells, others perfectly symmetrical and miniature and tightly closed, still others voluptuous and enticingly showy, with ruffled edges.

Pick a spot on the rainbow, and you will find a flower to match your desire.

A close up macro picture of the bud of a flower opening up to show the red petals inside, on a soft focus green background.

Some species are even monoecious, with both male and female flowers on a single plant that can self-pollinate (as opposed to dioecious species, which have distinct male and female plants).

But they still benefit from bonus love taps via friendly pollinating insects, hummingbirds, and the wind.

A close up macro picture of the inside of a flower, in pink fading to orange.

This virile, fertile, sexual dance is a joyful one. And on a sunny day in May, you’ll be called to join in that dance.

Don’t resist. Listen closely for the beat to drop – trust me, it will – and move your body like nobody’s watching.

Or, get down with your bad self like everybody’s watching, if that’s your thing. The croaking frogs and nut-hoarding squirrels and cackling grackles certainly will be.

Flow like a sultry snake, vibe in praying mantis pose, soar like a dragonfly.

Experiencing the Garden Through the Senses

Of course, World Naked Gardening Day is not just about doing a jig around the fairy ring in the buff and soaking up some rays while you primp and prune.

I see it as an opportunity to become fully absorbed in the garden, a chance to maximize one’s experience of nature in a sensory, embodied way.

A vertical picture of a young man standing outside with his chin raised and his eyes closed in a shower of rain in bright sunshine.

On the arrival of the 16th Annual WNGD, wake up early in the morning and stretch with the rising sun.

Inhale the fecund aromas and gaze upon the awe-inspiring landscape that surrounds you. Absorb it through your pores, your retinas, your vibrating eardrums. Feel it on your skin. Taste it with your tongue.

A woman with her eyes closed and bare shoulders amongst white flowers and green foliage on a soft focus background.

Allow the many plants that fill your space to envelop you and take you in, and feel their presence with your full being, wearing only a smile.

Take pleasure in the variety of scents and taste sensations that the garden provides.

There’s nothing like the drip of a juicy peach running down your chin and onto your chest, or the explosion of a sun-ripened tomato between your teeth.

Two hands reaching up to a tree to harvest pears in bright sunshine.

True, it’s probably too early in the season for those particular delights to make an appearance in most growing zones.

But imagine the crisp snap of a just-picked pea pod, and its sweet flavor on your tongue. The peppery taste of arugula, a verdant rocket shooting to the skies. Or the sweet-tart zing of a ruby-colored strawberry, studded with tiny seeds.

These titillating treasures can be yours, to consume slowly, and lovingly.

A young woman with bare shoulders and long brown hair in a corn field with her eyes closed, with white clouds in the background.

Pinch a leaf of mint or rosemary and inhale slowly, as far as you can, taking the fresh, herbal fragrance deep down into your lungs. Munch on an edible flower. Bury your nose in a tuft of soft, damp, earthy moss.

This is bliss.

The garden is also a sea of texture – soft and hard, sharp and smooth, tender and bristle-covered.

A close up vertical picture of a ginger flower with pink stems on a soft focus background.

Take caution – some plants can bite, or leave you with an itchy rash as a reminder of your dirty deeds. Do your research first if you need to, as all of us can have different skin sensitivities.

And then go wild, experimenting with the feel of a smooth seed pod, a soft branch, or a coiled vine languorously stretching its tendrils skyward, absentmindedly grasping for a foothold.

The touch of velvet rose petals on bare skin is a favorite of mine. Go inward to discover what you lust for, and do your thing.

A vertical picture of a young man with a bare chest sitting in the garden with pink flowers in the foreground and soft focus background.

A true connoisseur of World Naked Gardening Day knows this holiday is about experiencing the garden with all of your senses:

Listening intently to the birdsong and the rustle of field mice in the meadow, or the plop of a toad from floating lily pad to deep, cool pond water.

It’s about taking in every shade of green imaginable through your eyes, and gazing into the middle distance to find still more.

Feeling the warm embrace of leaf-covered branches overhead, and the tender kiss of soft petals.

Inhaling an orgy of intoxicating scents.

Tasting the tart, warm juices of wild berries, and the sweet nectar of pink and yellow honeysuckle blossoms.

A close up of a man with a woman sitting behind him, naked in a field of red flowers and soft green foliage in bright sunshine.

Imagine tickling a fluffy seed head down your lover’s spine, watching soft buds unravel in the sunshine, and hearing ripe seed pods explode with a juicy pop.

Ecstasy is all around you, verdant and bursting from the earth, engorged with new life. And you are a part of it. Your friends and lovers and gardening companions are all a part of it.

A Healthy Exercise

There are potential health benefits to this all-nude holiday as well.

Bathe in the forest and feel your heart rate slow, your stress levels drop. Phytoncide is no joke – and no, this is not another word for plant murder.

A close up of a young woman with bare shoulders, cupping a pink flower next to her face with her eyes closed, on a soft focus background.

Rather, it’s a chemical released naturally by trees and other plants, proven to actually improve immune function and other markers of health, and to boost feelings of general well-being.

Don’t have all day? That’s okay.

Immerse yourself for at least a half hour or so on this special occasion to reap the full benefits, and be fully present. Take a mental picture, and seal it up in an envelope in your mind to return to on a rainy day.

But please, if you’re free to luxuriate, take your time. You deserve it. You need it.

Studies have shown that picking fresh produce straight from the garden releases a rush of dopamine, and playing in dirt filled with Mycobacterium vaccae, a naturally occurring bacterium in the soil, boosts serotonin levels.

A close up of two bare feet standing in rich dark soil in bright sunshine.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that’s linked to pleasure, and it makes us feel happy, euphoric even, and sexy, too.

In addition to improving mood and other functions, it can aid our feelings of motivation and sleep, as well as attention and movement.

Serotonin, another neurotransmitter, also boosts those feelings of well-being, as well as aiding other healthy functions in the body.

These chemical messengers work together, with dopamine signaling our feelings of pleasure, and serotonin popping in to make us feel satiated.

And you can get all of that from gardening, you guys!

Relax, Dance, and Enjoy

When is the last time that you were naked in the great outdoors?

Without the burden of clothes, we can be as free as the local wildlife. Pick up a handful of rich, cool earth and inhale deeply, then let it sift through your fingers and onto your bare toes. Dance to the beat of a butterfly’s wings.

A close up of two bare legs from below the knee, standing on a short, tidy lawn on a soft focus background.

If you discover that you’re experiencing any feelings of resistance, take note: this is not uncommon. See if you can gently let these feelings go, take some deep, grounding breaths, and open your mind to full immersion in the experience of naked gardening.

While it’s true that this isn’t something that most of us grew up doing, I’ve found my own experiences of nudity in nature to be endlessly rewarding and joyful. Keep your physical safety and the safety of others in mind, don’t violate any local laws, and shed those threads.

Who knows, maybe this is something that you’ll find yourself doing again and again!

Take a nap on the warm grass and allow your mind to be filled with sultry daydreams, then pick up your hoe again and get to work, plucking out the spent foliage and making way for new growth to emerge.

After that, go back and do it all again. You’ve got all day.

And when it’s time for the sun to sink below the horizon, take a sip of cool, clear water, and pause for a moment to thank the Earth.

Thank the native wild plants and the cultivated ones, the microbes and mycelium and earthworms in the soil, the honeybees and ladybugs. Bid the wildlife that calls your green space home a pleasant goodnight.

A close up of a man with a beard holding a white flower up to his face with his eyes closed, on a soft focus green background.

If you just can’t tear yourself away, spread out on the lawn or curl up in a cozy blanket and watch as the planets and stars come out.

The waxing moon will be nearly full on May 2nd this year.

Listen for the night birds, feel the thump of a bat’s wings pumping against the cool air, and watch as the spiders weave their gossamer webs…

Where Will You Be on World Naked Gardening Day?

Are you ready to drop trou, grab a shovel, and get out there? Don’t forget your sunscreen! I’ll be celebrating right out there with you on May 2nd.

A close up of a young woman with bare shoulders wearing a blue and white hat holding a bunch of freshly picked flowers with trees in soft focus in the background.

Feel free to let me know how you plan to celebrate in the comments below. Sexy plant puns welcome, but let’s try to refrain from getting too plant-tastically graphic.

Feeling inspired? Check out these articles next for more fun activities to do in the garden:

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Allison M. Sidhu grew up with her hands in the dirt in southeastern Pennsylvania, and she has returned to Philadelphia after a seven-year sojourn to sunny LA. She holds a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College and an MA in gastronomy from Boston University. When she’s not in the kitchen making pies and pickles or whipping up something tasty for dinner, Allison enjoys perusing the latest seed catalogs, tending her garden and houseplants, identifying wild flora and specimens at the local arboretums, and reading up on the latest in food and agriculture policy.
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Anna (@guest_5901)
4 years ago

Hello Allison, this is Anna from – thanks so much for sending me the link to your marvelous article. We wrote an article last year on our blog about WNGD and the simplistic ease and pleasure of gardening naked generally. I am sure that you will have readers who think, “Yes, that sounds wonderful but couldn’t I just do all this dressed or partly dressed?” The simple answer is that of course you can but you will be missing out on an important level of the experience. Once you are naked you become an integral part of the nature… Read more »

Carol (@guest_6621)
4 years ago

Where do we upload our pics for WNGD? Just on our own FB site? Thanks

Louis (@guest_6635)
4 years ago

Fantastic article. July 14th is my favorite day of the year National Nude Day. I’ll have to add May 2nd to the list. Thank you for sharing. Unfortunately it’s a bit too cold here to participate. Being a nudist is a fantastic experience that everyone should experience. It’s about being free, free of covering up, free of hiding, and just free to be you at the simplest form. To me it’s spiritual. Be blessed stay safe.