One major change that the pandemic has brought on within Irish society is a renewed appreciation for gardening. The pandemic initiated a gardening boom. Demand for seeds shot up and left suppliers struggling to meet it head on. AgWeek reported that Burpee Seed Company sold more seed in March of 2020 than at any time previous in the company’s 144 year history, and that Johnny’s selected seed noted a 270% increase in normal spring sales.
The reasons for gardening’s spike in popularity ranged from needing a hobby to fill all the extra time people found themselves with, whether this was due to working from home or to no longer being able to partake in their usual hobbies and activities – to people needing or wanting to grow their own food in order to have more control over their supply of food in such uncertain times.
Dr Sue Stuart Smith published a paper last year entitled “Pandemic related stress: the benefits of gardening and connecting with nature” which espoused the restorative effects of gardening during tumultuous times. She also provided some interesting insight into the reason for why we turn to gardening in times of crisis: Biophilia, she quotes E.O Wilson, is defined as a love for living things. The term ‘Urgent Biophilia’, writes Smith, is a form of gardening and tree planting frequently observed during and after wars and natural disaster.
It seems that the gardening trend is here to stay, and so the video below zeroes in on the one gardener in particular, to find out how her experience of gardening during the pandemic relates to all of this!