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EDITOR'S LETTER: Gardening Boom Comes From COVID-19

Photo credit: Karen England
The Editor's own garden in Vista, CA.

By Karen England.

I had a phone conversation last week with my cousin, the owner/operator of Sunshine Gardens in Encinitas about his invalid wife and my invalid mother - he wanted to know how we were faring in the quarantine and I wanted to know how they were doing. Turns out, we all are doing very well, especially considering that we are in most of the at high risk categories. After catching up on our rather large and far-flung family, but before hanging up, I asked him how business at Sunshine Gardens was these days and he said, unbelievably - "the nursery has never been busier!"

Photo credit: Karen England
Sunshine Gardens, Encinitas, CA.

Deemed an essential service by the government like grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, etc., because of the edible plants they sell, Sunshine Gardens is seeing an instantaneous new interest in gardening and plants in the wake of the novel coronavirus. And Sunshine Gardens is not the only one.

"A resurgence of victory gardens"

On March 21st, 2020, Jeanette Marantos wrote in a Los Angeles Times article titled "A Happy Little Miracle in Dark Times: The plant nursery business is booming."

In it she states that "plant nurseries are now offering curbside service. After an economic week so bleak, with thousands out of work and businesses teetering on the edge, a happy little miracle has happened in the world of plants.

People are clamoring to plant vegetable gardens, and Southern California nurseries — deemed an essential service by state and local officials — have found creative ways to meet the demand while keeping customers and staff at a safe distance amid coronavirus concerns." Read the whole LA Times article here - Happy Little Miracle.

I, myself, am cautiously optimistic that the same is happening for all the wonderful nurseries around our county, many of whom are long time SDHS members and loyal Society supporters. I am also optimistic about a resurgence in other areas of gardening and think our membership could swell as well. One can only hope.

"The enjoyments of a garden being so manifold and continuous, bringing brightness to the home, health to the body, and happiness to the mind, it is for us, who have proved them, whose daily lives are made more cheerful by their influence, out of our gratitude and our goodwill, to invite and to instruct others, that they may share our joy." - S. Reynolds Hole, from Our Gardens.

Photo credit: Jim Bishop.
Front yard seen on Jim Bishop's walking tour of his neighborhood on Facebook.

Head over to the San Diego Horticultural Society Facebook Page and join the green conversation from the safe distance of your home. Jim Bishop has posted a beautiful photographic garden tour of the front yards in his neighborhood and other members are posting tours of their gardens too. Please take the time, and do tell others how your garden is doing and maybe invite your neighbors, who may just be discovering or rediscovering the joys of plants due to being quarantined to join our group, now while they have the time!


SDHS Newsletter - Let's Talk Plants! Managing editor, Karen England, is also a member-at-large of the International Herb Association and a contributor to the 2020 IHA Herb of the Year TM book -

Rubus - Celebrating Blackberries, Raspberries and More!


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