"To Plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow" Audrey Hepburn
Covid-19 has turned everyone’s world upside down with social distancing, working from home, lockdown and travel restriction, meaning inevitably people are spending more time than ever in their gardens; using them as a sanctuary and something to focus on in these challenging times.
On a simple level, just being outside observing the birds, bees, flowers unfurling from buds to blooms, everything becoming lush and vibrant as we transit through spring towards summer; has a calming effect for your wellbeing.
Nature is unphased by Covid-19 and continues as it has every year, and spending time wandering around in the garden observing these changes as the days progress is a good way to escape from the stresses of what is happening because of it. It has been well documented over the years about the health benefits of getting your hands dirty in soil, with exposure to mycobacterium vaccae found in soil scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and improve mood in its subjects.
Gardening in itself is a creative, optimistic process, where people plant plants or sow seed with the belief that they will grow and reward them with food or beautiful flowers, and this can be done no matter how small the space, whether seeds on a window sill, pots on a balcony or in a garden, and no matter what age.
Tending to seedlings and plants is in its essence is a mindful activity and having that sense of pride and excitement at seeing seeds germinate or plant flowers open gives people a sense of purpose, when normal activities are being restricted.
But not everyone is a gardener or knows how to sow seeds, but now more and more people are having a go. Viewing figures for BBC Gardeners World have never been higher, and with social media and the internet there are so many people sharing tips and tricks, how to videos and their experiences with having ago, whether as part of home schooling or just wanting to grow your own.
When it comes to people’s gardens, often they are places of neglect, as our pre Covid-19 lives were busy and hectic. As a garden designer I have had a marked level of interest in people wanting their gardens designed, realising life as we knew it is not going to return just like that and wanting outdoor spaces that work for them and that they want to enjoy spending time in. A well-designed garden plan can reduce build costs, be phased to suite financial constraints and can reduce maintenance long term. As a garden designer I have been able to adjust my methods to offer a full garden design service remotely complying to the social distancing restrictions, even for those self-isolating.