If you managed to find a garden center or nursery open in 2020, you probably experienced a lot of long lines and empty shelves. The coronavirus set off a gardening boom that has been compared to the victory gardens planted during WWI and WWII. People discovered gardening gives them emotional relief and a sense of feeling grounded. While food shortages were happening at the grocery store, people turned to their own food stability programs in their garden and discovered the many mental health benefits gardening can provide.
And there are at least as many benefits as there are garden types. There is a garden out there for any type of gardener. You may find you want to begin a garden for specific reasons, whether it’s for adding to your meals (vegetable garden) or beautifying your surroundings (cut flower garden). You may want to create a space of calm with a meditation garden or evoke a feeling from a specific place in the world with a Japanese or Mediterranean garden. There are ecologically beneficial gardens including pollinator gardens, local community gardens, or gardens with native plants. If you want to be water-wise, you can create a desert garden or one that is xeriscaped. If you’re short on space, a patio or countertop herb garden might be more your style. The possibilities are endless!
You don’t have to stick with one type of garden over another; try combining different aspects of a variety of styles in your garden. In a cottage garden, for example, you can combine herbs and vegetables with flowers. It is up to you and the look and benefits you are after. In my garden, I have sections inspired by the gardens I have seen. I have a small dry area where I plant desert plants and a particularly windy section that I borrowed aspects from the prairie-style gardens. I even have an area that is just white and green to represent the beauty of the garden of Sissinghurst in the UK, a place I hope to visit one day.