If the pandemic can be said to have started one really positive trend last spring, it was the explosion of interest in gardening.
With travel off the table and many regular pastimes shut down, many people turned to the outdoors, and growing their own food or flowers, or both, as a new hobby.
We sincerely hope it’s an interest that people will stick with through the other side of the pandemic.
There are so many benefits to gardening, and you don’t have to have a particularly green thumb to enjoy them.
First, it’s great for stress relief, something many of us can use at this point. There’s nothing like getting your hands in the dirt to make you relax and breathe out. It also provides a sense of accomplishment — you can see the results of your labour for immediate gratification, but there’s also the joy of watching all those plants you’ve nurtured grow and change throughout the seasons.
Second, it’s a great, cheap way to improve your diet. Most veggies you can start from seed for pennies, and nothing tastes as good or is as nutritious as the tomato, lettuce, peas in the pod or onions that have sun-ripened in your own backyard as opposed to being shipped pre-ripe thousands of kilometres.
The sense of well-being you get from eating a carrot from your own garden, all gardeners know, is far superior to the feeling of eating one from the supermarket. If you grow enough you can even move on to preserving your harvest by canning or making your own jam if you are so inclined.
Third, gardens can be a beautiful addition not just to your own property, but to the neighbourhood in which you live, bringing joy to many. They can be a chance to exercise your creativity in designing them, and their continually changing nature provides surprises and pleasure that are ever new.
Who doesn’t feel a sense of happiness at the sight of a daffodil, iris or lily? There’s a reason the saying goes that you should stop and smell the roses. Gardens provide a feast for all of your senses.
During COVID many more people have made a habit of getting out walking in their own communities, and a great garden provides a point of interest and aesthetic enjoyment for all who see it.
So we hope that people’s forays into gardening last year have left them bitten by the gardening bug, and we continue to see the trend for years to come.
With so many positive outcomes of gardening in our communities, it would be a huge shame to see all that land go back to fallow, or return to lawn that just gets mowed once a week.
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