Editor’s note: See updated story on World Naked Gardening Day.
When you think of Eugene, OR, what comes to mind? The University of Oregon. Track-and-field athletes. Microbreweries. The great outdoors. And naked gardening?
We don’t know whether Eugene qualifies as the U.S. capital of World Naked Gardening Day, but we do know that plenty of people in the Eugene area are curious about the annual celebration of tending to your flowerbed in the buff.
Photo: Cotswold Allure
A LawnStarter review of Google Trends data finds that for the two-month period in 2016 stretching from March 15 (around the start of spring) to May 15 (shortly after World Naked Gardening Day), Eugene ranked No. 1 among U.S. metro areas for search activity surrounding the term “World Naked Gardening Day.” The observance, launched in 2005, is held each year on the first Saturday of May.
To check out our list of the 12 best cities for observing World Naked Gardening Day, visit www.lawnstarter.com/blog/gardening-2/world-naked-gardening-day.
Google Trends analyzes a percentage of all searches for a topic like “World Naked Gardening Day” within the same time and location parameters, and then awards a search score (1 through 100) to a geographic region. For the two-month period we examined in 2016, Eugene cultivated the highest score on the Google Trends scale — 100 — for the topic “World Naked Gardening Day.” On the Google scale, a score of 100 signifies the maximum search interest for a certain time and location.
Eugene, OR, has several community gardens like this one.
Photo: Chris Ouverson/University of Oregon
Eugene Digs Gardening
Jeff Choate, a horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service, says gardening is “extremely popular” in the Eugene area, but he says he can’t hazard a guess as to why naked gardening has piqued the interest of local people. Choate says gardeners in the Eugene area grow vegetables, herbs, berries and all sorts of native plants.
“If it can be grown here, someone is growing it,” Choate says.
Gardening au naturel or not, Eugene is no prude when it comes to nudity.
In 2016, the 40-acre Willamettans Family Nudist Resort, northeast of Eugene, hosted the annual convention of the American Association for Nude Recreation. About 500 to 600 people attended, according to Jefferson Public Radio.
The Willamettans Family Nudist Resort hosted a national convention of nudists in 2016.
Photo: Review Resorts
Alix Schuttauf, a spokeswoman for the American Association for Nude Recreation, says that in the Eugene area, there’s heightened interest in nude recreation — including naked gardening — thanks to last year’s convention, as well as the presence of several nudist clubs in the region.
“Gardening is made even better through nude recreation,” Schuttauf says, “and getting started is as easy as putting on a pair of gloves — and taking off everything else.”
In a 2016 news release, the American Association for Nude Recreation declared that aside from promoting body acceptance and personal freedom, “nude gardening is comfortable, saves on laundry and makes for a quick personal cleanup — just hose down or shower off.”
(On the map, click on the number over each city to learn more.)
Top Areas for Interest in World Naked Gardening Day
Here are the results of our Google Trends research into World Naked Gardening Day. By the way, our findings represent a snapshot in time. If you do your own Google Trends research for a different time span, you might come up with different results.
1. Eugene, OR
Google Trends score for World Naked Gardening Day: 100
Google Trends score for World Naked Gardening Day: 91
3. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA
Google Trends score for World Naked Gardening Day: 88
4. Little Rock-Pine Bluff, AR
Google Trends score for World Naked Gardening Day: 76
5. Burlington, VT/Plattsburgh, NY
Google Trends score for World Naked Gardening Day: 66
6. Flint-Saginaw-Bay City, MI
Google Trends score for World Naked Gardening Day: 61
7. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, MI
Google Trends score for World Naked Gardening Day: 57
8. Roanoke-Lynchburg, VA
Google Trends score for World Naked Gardening Day: 55
Google Trends score for World Naked Gardening Day: 52
Google Trends score for World Naked Gardening Day: 49
Top photo: Kazuaki Fuse/Travel Lane County