Gardening Horticultural Therapy

Gardening as Coronavirus Therapy


I don’t know about you, but I’m in a self-imposed coronavirus lockdown. Actually, it’s more a wife-imposed lockdown: Marie won’t let me out of the door unless I promise to go no further than the street. Most people will probably come through a bout of COVID-19 with no more symptoms than from a bad cold, but I’m one of those people who suffer from a “pre-existing medical condition,” a lung disease called pulmonary fibrosis. People with PF who come down with COVID-19 aren’t likely to survive.

So, I’m stuck at home for the next few weeks (at least!) and guess what I’ll be doing to keep active and alert? Gardening! It’s better therapy than watching TV and you don’t have to go anywhere to practice it. I have all the supplies I need on hand (if not, I could order them online), my seed orders have arrived and need to be started and I have plenty of houseplants that require various bits of care: from pruning to repotting to complete makeovers.

Where I live (Quebec, Canada), it’s still far too early to be gardening outdoors: there’s still about 90 cm (3 feet) of snow on the ground and that will take a month yet to melt away. So, for the moment, I’ll be gardening indoors. But if the need for isolation continues long enough (who knows?), I have outdoor gardens that will slowly emerge out of the snow and need a bit of care. 

So, maybe I’ll be a bit less laidback about my gardening for a while, doing a few things I would normally avoid as not being absolutely essential … but if puttering in my garden helps me deal with feelings of insecurity and isolation (and it does!), then I’m willing to put a bit more work into it. Not that it will feel like work: gardening always feels a bit more like accomplishing something than work.

Try it and see! Do a bit of gardening daily, or even a lot of gardening, and you’ll see time fly.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to mix and mingle again soon!

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

8 comments on “Gardening as Coronavirus Therapy

  1. Exactly, it’s the best therapy! Keep safe!

  2. Tim Murphy

    Keep going , cheers from waiting to go Toronto…

  3. I won’t be doing it as therapy, but while I can not go to work, I will be catching up on a bit of it.

  4. Margaret

    Be well! Stay safe! Listen to Marie!

  5. Trish Hardman

    Absolutely the best therapy! Take care and God bless…

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