Gardens: A Refuge in the Pandemic

Last spring we asked members to submit reflections on how our gardens help us cope with the isolation we may feel due to the Covid-19 virus. We received several responses which will be posted during the next few months. The submission from Harriet Magee below is perfect for Thanksgiving.

With Thanksgiving approaching, it’s time to thank our gardens for keeping us somewhat sane through the pandemic. Unlike nearly every other aspect of our lives since last winter—working, shopping, socializing, volunteering, taking classes—gardening has allowed us to experience real, not virtual, life. So much of the pandemic has seemed like a delusion. Efforts to bypass the terror of catching COVID 19 have driven some to spraying and wiping groceries and quarantining trick or treat candy. Such efforts seemed nutty and like whistling in the dark. People seemingly aren’t satisfied with the droplet theory of transmission, which has held its own over these long months.

Let’s celebrate that our gardens didn’t need to get cancelled, Zoomified, sanitized. Instead, as always, we dealt with poor dirt, weeds, the odd groundhog, and the endless rocks the New England soil never stops gifting. We produced lots of beauty and happiness using the same old tools and techniques. And we’re planning on making next year’s garden finally perfect. Or almost.

Meanwhile, should the desperate hope for a vaccine in the second quarter prove naïve, we’ll need to remember that the low-grade loneliness and boredom the pandemic has infected us all with has a powerful antidote. Come April and May, we’ll not need to social distance in our gardens. Unmasked, we can get real close to our beloved plants, and open up our needy, lonely selves to green shoots in the brown dirt.

The two photos are of Harriet’s garden.

If you would like to submit reflections on how your garden restored your spirit during the past months please send your thoughts to: driftwoodgardenclub50@gmail.com