How to care for the garden on quarantine days
The news that the media are giving us these days, continuously, is disturbing. The categorical imperative for everyone is to stay at home to protect our families, friends, and loved ones from the virus that is circulating in Italy and in the rest of the world. The primary need is to keep a distance from other people. Difficult to observe both physically and mentally.
However, for lovers of gardening more or less convinced, in this thankless task, nature comes in its many forms. Who has the privilege of living in a house with a garden or in an apartment with a terrace, spending time outdoors, kissed by the rays of the sun, feeling the wind blowing on the face, helps to soothe the body and mind, from an unparalleled positive charge? But what to do when to keep the garden alive alone in this delicate moment?
Today that it is no longer allowed even to do outdoor activities in public spaces. The garden or terrace is a very rich treasure. In the most difficult moments, the time spent in the garden simply takes us away from constant worries and stress. These days what is most striking when we look out of a window, at any time of the day, is the silence that surrounds us, in an almost unreal way. We are not used to hearing in the city so clear the birdsong. The noise that the wind makes when passing through the streets or among the trees.
The voices and noises are few and rarefied. If you have a fountain or a game of water of any size in the garden, you can fully appreciate its sweet sound and the sense of peace it transmits to you. For those who don’t have one, this could be the right time to think about making and adding improvements to your garden in the coming months, with the help of an expert gardener.
The benefits that gardening produces or, simply, spending time in the garden reading a book, have been documented over and over again by multiple scientific studies. Just being near plants reduces stress, improves concentration, and, for those who have had health problems, accelerates healing. Immersing yourself in the greenery, surrounded by plants and flowers of all kinds, reduces feelings of fear and anger. So, in these difficult days, instead of worrying about rushing to the supermarket to buy some toilet paper or oil for frying, try going to the garden or to the balcony at home.
One of the many reasons why a garden is built is to create a place where you can relax. Getaway from the daily rush, and have time and space just for us. A garden well designed by a skilled landscaper and well maintained by an expert gardener is wonderful. Create a private and intimate space around the person, designed on the basis of his needs. Since there is no shortage of time these days. Thinking about what works and what should be changed in the garden is an excellent meditation exercise.
Essential elements of the garden
Let’s try to make a short check of what we have and what we should or would like to have in our green space. What are the essential elements in the garden? Without any doubt, evergreen plants, of any shape and size, constitute one of the fundamental elements to create their skeleton. A walkway, a path, albeit short, looks away from something we don’t like and takes it right where we want it to go. Create an escape route, a perspective. Of comfortable seating, perhaps arranged in a cozy, shady pergola, they are the accessory that everyone wants to have. Make a game of water or placing an art object, adds character to the garden. Finally, the color brought by the flowers or leaves of various shades of plants chosen ad hoc gives light even to the shadiest corners.
Spending time outdoors is possible, simply by taking a walk to observe the growth of the new buds of the plants we have. Better, if we strive to also exercise, so as to bring together physical and mental well-being. Remove the weeds, prepare the new flower beds or pots for the seasonal blooms to come. Since it is not easy to have new seedlings, we could think of sowing some of them, also making small experiments. Mulch, remove flowers, leaves, dry branches, fertilize. We could alternate one hour of green training with one hour of reading a book or listening to good music on the radio. A sunny morning, with mild temperatures, spent working in the garden or on the terrace costs effort. But gives a unique relief and pleasure. If your green space is larger than the ordinary, there will certainly be plenty of work to do and then the time to devote must be greater.
Another essential ingredient that should not be missing in the garden are plants that sway in the wind breeze such as bamboo or grasses. Creating pergolas decorated with vines or wisteria as climbing plants add color. But also a sweet scent in the flowering season. Because the scents of the plants also help to relax and create an environment full of impalpable charm. Not only the flowers produce sweet-smelling notes but also the leaves such as those of sage, rosemary, thyme, myrtle, helichrysum. Just to mention the most common Mediterranean plants and many others such as camphor.
For the less fortunate who do not have a garden, even by choice. You could do gardening tests even with the few pots on the balcony, or with indoor plants to take care of. Spending time with plants helps to release tension and find peace and serenity. Rediscovering the sound of the voices of children playing, the singing of birds. The hum of the first bees in search of flowers. The breeze of the wind are experiences that we hardly noticed before. Today they are a real gift for the soul. Let the sounds of nature reassure your spirit, continually saddened by fatal news. Each in its own terrace, park, garden, balcony, we will be able to overcome even these difficult days together.
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