What a strange time to be alive. I’ve found it very hard to write gardening blog posts this summer because nothing seemed meaningful in the midst of all the confusion and fear. So I hunkered down in my garden, shut out the world and worked 12-hours days. For the time being, my family has been spared, and for that, I am truly grateful.
One interesting side note of this unusual time is that people have truly hungered for local flowers; I’ve sold nearly every stem I could grow. Apparently this odd turn of events has not happened in a vacuum: If you check most mail-order nursery websites, you will see that they are completely sold out of many items. It seems I am not the only person who has found solace and comfort in the garden. Sheltering in place has led us to focus on our home lives, and for many of us, that has included the garden as a place of respite and comfort.
One of the scarier aspects of the pandemic has been the shortages – albeit short-lived – in the food supply chain. However, many of us have realized that there is so much food being produced right here at home. As the farmers’ markets filled to bursting with produce this summer, the canning section at my local grocery store was decimated. We can and should feed ourselves, grow our own flowers, and take care of this beautiful place where we live. We really don’t have to rely on agricultural products being shipped in from all over the world; we can grow them right in our own backyards.
My hope is that we will continue to grow and learn about the natural world. And that when things return to whatever normal looks like in the future, we will maintain the relationships we have developed with all the living creatures – plant and animal alike – residing along side us. I have faith that we can take what we’ve learned in this difficult time of introspection and use those lessons to help heal ecological damage. May we use our hard-won knowledge and go on to create a sustainable, garden-like planet for our children and grandchildren.
Laura Bigbee-Fott is a Davidson County Master Gardener. She owns Whites Creek Flower Farm and runs a floral event and wedding design business called Everything Blooms.