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  • Christie Costello

2020 Silver Linings: My Garden University

Updated: Apr 22, 2021

Written by: Christie Costello

Having a health condition that makes me super high risk for COVID-19 means that 2020 has been a doozy of a lockdown for my household. Since I wasn’t going out, I had to find another way of “getting out”...cue my new gardening addiction!

It started with my roses. I love roses, and quarantine gave me more time to nurture and enjoy them. I bought more bushes, and with all the blooms in the spring, I added more small vases to my collection so I could have fresh cut roses all over the house.

Then my mom, who lives with Chris and me, decided to start gardening. While she was planting seeds in a seed tray, I caught the bug! I wanted to try everything, but I knew nothing about gardening. Oh well! I planted a bunch of seeds outside anyway! But the California temp kept rising which led to a bunch of failed experiments. I tried different things and watched a million youtube videos on gardening. I learned so much. I really love science and using the scientific method to try different things and see what works best. We had the best luck over the summer with Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes. (That plant is actually still growing strong after almost 8 months!)

When it became increasingly clear that the lockdown was going to be a long haul, we decided to go all-in on the new hobby. My hubby built 4 large raised bed planter boxes, and we ordered a massive truck of compost. I continue to experiment with seeds of all kinds during the ups and downs of the weather. It was tricky because this year our summer heat lasted well into mid-October and then before we knew it, we were dropping into the 50s and 40s at night. The fall seeds are slow going, but I am still enjoying my new hobby and growing my green thumb skills. We are hoping for a winter crop of kale, chard, spinach, and cabbage, along with carrots, beets, and fresh herbs.

I honestly have to say that gardening has kept me sane this year. It gave me fresh stimulation for my mind (that wasn’t work related), took me out into the sun more than usual (yay for vitamin D!), and got me excited to check on the progress each day and week. It was something I looked forward to...and still do. This new hobby of mine has been a huge silver lining and bright spot of my year, and I’m almost positive I would have never tried it without this pandemic. (I had always joked that I had a brown thumb and could even kill cactus, which WAS 100% true before 2020!)

I love this new side of my life, and even as we get to travel and get out of the house again when we get through this pandemic, I hope to continue my love for gardening for the rest of my life.

If you’d like to see my gardening journey in photos, check out my Facebook album.

More from this Series:

2020 Silver Linings: Holiday Flight Prices

2020 Silver Linings: Unexpected Blessings

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