I have officially begun the journey of actually planting my front yard foodscape. It was only coincidental that we decided to remove the lawn and beds before the coronavirus/COVID pandemic unfolded.
In the days and weeks following the clearing of our yard, the coronavirus pandemic began hit much closer to home. Then the panic buying started at our own grocery stores. Events and vacations were being cancelled. People began to go into self-isolation, hiding from an invisible danger. Soon, we realized the detailed plan for the garden didn't really matter. We had bigger things to deal with. We had to worry about the health and wellness of our family first and foremost. Our lives felt much smaller and more precarious. Schools, community centres, pools, libraries, public services have closed. Access to medical services is narrowing in the face of possible impending healthcare disaster.
I, like many others reading this, have felt overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of grim information and imagery day in and day out. There is a feeling of loss of control in these uncertain times. While social distancing and self-isolating, we are most likely stuck at home. What better thing to do than plant a garden? Working the soil, sowing seeds, and planting flowers, shrubs, and trees are all very therapeutic activities in my books. Fresh air, the elements, and some good old fashioned heavy lifting. You are connected with nature and you feel alive as much as the plants, bugs, birds, and critters around you.
One of my favourite gardening quotes of all time is "to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow" (Audrey Hepburn). Gardeners are hopeful people. You don't plant a seed expecting it to rot; you expect it to grow. Gardening is about hope, patience, optimism, and vision. You plan to be there to watch your garden grow and unfold. Like many people, gardening has helped me through some tough times. I have leaned on it many times throughout the decade that I have been seriously gardening.
Right now, I am leaning on my garden to get me through this. If you are having a hard time right now, I encourage you to do the same. Whether you have a yard, or a balcony, or a plant pot in a window sill, plant a seed and watch it grow. It needs you to be there tomorrow. You will be there tomorrow.
I want to sow a seed of happiness and hope in you. Yes, we are in some very tough and destabilizing times. But I believe in tomorrow. I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but when I awake my garden will be there for me.
Oh, and my second favourite gardening quote is "gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes!" (unknown). A very compelling statement indeed!
So, go order some seeds online. You don't even need to leave your house! My favourite source is Westcoast Seeds, based in Ladner, BC.