Gardening in the Age of Coronavirus: The Make-Overs

Updated: Jan 11

Story #1 Gardening Therapy

Our first big outing was to the West Seattle Nursery and our appointments, usually spaced two weeks apart, kept us on track with our gardening projects and also gave us something positive to look forward to. Thank you for that! We spent time after work (I’m working remotely now and my husband works at a supermarket), weeding, planting, listening to music and loving our time outside. Because the world felt so challenged in so many ways, we decided to make our garden bright, happy and beautiful; we wanted to create a space where we could relax and feel safe.

We had been talking about reimagining and sprucing up our yard for the past couple of years. Since we had more time on our hands this year, we were able to take on these projects.

We planted azaleas (fuchsia and purple) in the spring, impatiens for big bursts of color, lilies, dahlias and more. We even planted sunflowers (from seed) so that we could hold on to summer vibes as we crawl towards fall. They are so close to blooming!

The flowers brought us so much joy that we

wanted to share them with other people. Since it’s hard to do that during a pandemic, we planted 50 sunflower seeds and gave them away to neighbors. It’s been fun walking the dogs and seeing them grow in people’s yards! Next year I plan to give away roses since I leaned how to propagate them this year. We also painted our black, metal patio furniture a bright, glossy orange so that it matched our numerous pots that are filled with coleus, begonias, lantana, geraniums and other pretty flowers. All purchased at WSN!

Now we’re in the process of laying down huge slabs of bluestone pavers under our pergola. We’ve talked about that for years! This is a long-winded way of saying thank you. Thank you for giving us projects, giving us an escape and giving us a way to cheer up our neighbors during a truly bizarre and surreal time. - Megan J.

Story #2 - COVID-19 Raised Beds

As the pantry staples and fresh produce became scarce at the end of March and my stress with working from home increased, I used my spare time and energy to remove sod, amend the soil, build raised beds, and plant seeds in the front of my property.

Previously, I rented a plot at the Delridge P-Patch. Last fall I had decided to do my gardening on my own property and was planning to take out my front yard grass and replace it with raised beds. Covid-19 provided the motivation and time to get this transition done in early April 2020.

My efforts were supported by my neighbors and other West Seattites who shared seeds, perennials, and building supplies. Thanks to Cedar Grove for delivering garden soil and compost bags. This gardening endeavor has not only reduced my stress but provided fresh fruit and veggies to my family and friends. Thank you West Seattle Nursery for the opportunity to share.

-Kristen T.

April, 2020

June, 2020

July, 2020

Story #3 - Quarantine Garden

Thank you very much for the opportunity to share how much I fell in love with gardening during this spring’s stay at home order. As a recent empty nester in a new home in West Seattle with almost no existing landscaping and a backyard entirely covered in gravel, I knew I’d be doing some first time gardening this spring.

Last fall, I covered my entire lawn with free wood chips to improve the soil, with no idea I’d soon have months of time alone at home. I enjoyed every minute of it, thanks to my new garden! Gardening not only kept me active and outdoors to fight the boredom and anxiety of the pandemic, it kept me looking forward to days ahead, to new growth and new seasons when I can plant even more. Chats with passing neighbors as I worked outside were a much needed bonus!

I started with seeds from WS Nursery for vegetables in my new planter boxes and cosmos and godetia for a beachy patch in the front yard, and a landscaping plan of plant suggestions from a much more experienced gardening friend.

I added fresh sod about 1/5th the size of the original lawn, and planned out my half hour nursery appointments to make beds of hydrangeas, anemone, gaura, delphiniums, hollyhock, red twig dogwood, hardy geranium, clematis, Joe Pye weed, pelargonium, daphne, astilbe, lupine, salvia, and my first climbing rose, with pink blossoms so pretty and sweet smelling, I don’t even mind my ten or so year wait until grandchildren.

I dug and scraped gravel for weeks to put in a little lawn and flower beds in back, added an herb garden, sweet peas and tomatoes, and treasured a few socially distant visits to friends who offered extra clumps of canna lily, crocosmia, and daisies. I can’t even describe how nice it is to spend time in my garden during a time like this. I got to make one peaceful and pretty little space in the world during a terrible and tragic time, but discovered a passion and love for gardening that will stay with me for many years to come.

- Stacia J

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