Ever since the implementation of Covid 19 restrictions, we have been wondering whether life would ever return to the way it used to be. Social commentators predict that even when this is all over, whenever that may actually be, life will be changed. And to a certain extent that is true. Life after a crisis is always different. We are changed. Society is changed. Our life as we knew it has changed. Even as the restrictions start to be eased here in Australia, social distancing is still in place and likely to be for some time yet. The way we work, the way we do business, the way we socialise, the way we live our lives, will continue to be different.
For some, isolation has opened up new opportunities to discover a passion for home renovation or gardening. One can only watch so much tv, after all. Garden centres have sold out of stock as people started home veggie gardens and chook runs. I did wonder if some people knew how long you actually have to wait before you can pick veggies or collect eggs. Even my sister-in-law, who has never shown the slightest interest in gardening, has suddenly been bitten by the gardening bug. We were all a bit surprised at that!
It has been suggested that Covid 19 and isolation will renew an appreciation for suburban life. Apparently some people are already showing an interest in moving out into the regional areas, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The perils of living in concrete jungles with overcrowded public transport and limited green space have been brought home during this pandemic. In fact, this is exactly what happened after the Spanish Flu epidemic. Creating a garden around the suburban home became quite popular as it gave people a sense of living in the country. The natural open spaces of the country, teeming with birdlife, and a variety of plant life was viewed as a far healthier environment. A home garden felt healthy. Safe. It created a buffer between the family home and the world outside.
Our gardening project had been put on hold while we were waiting for a boundary fence to be replaced, but I have been delighted to be finally reunited with my garden children. Gardens are becoming a lot more than just plants. Architectural features, such as gazebos, arbors and arches are becoming just as important. Garden sculptures and decor are also becoming popular. No longer does art have to be indoors. We can take the art to the outdoors.
My Bubbling Boy sits in my front garden, drinking away, while also providing a lovely place in the shade for the birds to splash around. I have always loved the idea of a water feature. The sound of water trickling and bubbling is so calming. And even better, the water fountain runs on a solar pump.
Tucked into the corners of the herb garden are my Little Readers. Accompanied by their faithful companions, these two love to wile the day away with a good book. We readers are always on the lookout for a quiet little niche in which to spend many happy hours reading away. How could I resist?
And finally, in the shade under the big tree out the back are my two adorable Bench Sitters. A sturdy garden bench in the shade is the perfect place for a little peace and quiet, to listen to the birds and watch the butterflies visit the flowers. Will there be some additions to the outdoor family? Maybe. For now they bring a smile to my face whenever I walk out the door.
Our gardens are becoming much more than just a buffer between our home and the outside world. They are becoming an extension to our home, a place where we can relax, play and socialise, a thriving natural community. In these anxiety inducing times, a little bit of the country can help to restore some peace, health and joy.