I love gardeners. I consider myself one, and many of my friends are gardeners. I have weeded and tended various gardens for pleasure and profit, and now I work for a gardening magazine. But I am not putting my trowel up for World Naked Gardening Day, celebrated every first Saturday of May since 2005. Absolutely not. Much as I romanticise the notion of dancing under the lemon tree clothed only in moonlight to scare away possums and other pests, I draw a line in the compost here.

I have done my research. I know World Naked Gardening Day encourages people to tend their gardens unclothed, as nature intended, in the spirit of communion with all living things. A worthy ideal. But this must be a Northern Hemisphere invention, dreamed up to literally send shivers down the spine of feijoa-loving Southern Hemisphere gardeners bracing themselves – and their beloved subtropicals – for polar blasts at this time of the year.

But hey, that’s just me. For those brave souls with green fingers and thick skin who do not share my reservations, we at NZ Gardener have come up with practical tips…