This spring, the global pandemic caused a record number of people to plant for the first time. Whether it was the fear of global food shortages or avoiding boredom, most were grateful that they could stick their hands in the dirt instead of their heads in the sand. Emma Beddington, Writing for the observer Life & Style said last week, “It is a bad time to admit that you do a terrible gardening … [it] feels like a moral failure. ‘I share their pain. As someone who had two very green thumbs parents, those genes skipped a generation. I have great awe and respect for those who can because it takes a lot of time, effort, and willingness to grow a fabulous garden. Instead, I have put my joy into gardening on behalf of me – and I am clearly not alone.
Like the explosion of beautifully designed food photos and all gastronomic things during the #foodporn trend, gardening also has a similar moment. At the time of writing (in my gardenless apartment) there were nearly 75 million photos on Instagram that were tagged with either #garden or #gardening, as other gardeners’ flowers and vegetables mentioned above have reached the full premium.
According to Emma Beddington, clicking Instagram can be like stepping into a National Trust garden, but without it [paying] the £ 15 entrance fee or the scones, “but I contend that without assistant gardeners the National Trust would lose its main customer base. They need us non-gardeners to buy their prey, praise their efforts and (secretly) make them feel complacent in their life-sustaining talent. This is surely why the UK public came together to raise £ 3.5million in just 10 weeks for the ArtFund that saved Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage. Deputy gardeners of the future, rejoice. In the meantime, you can visit Derek Jarman’s beautiful exhibition at the garden museum in London with a collection of works of art and artifacts, Photographs by Howard Sooley and a Prospect Cottage pebble installation.
Along with the record-breaking 2.7 million viewers of BBC2 Gardening world I watched again this spring Monty Don’s Global Garden Shows all summer. Or I get lost in lavish books with coffee tables about gardening, like the flower farmer Erin Benzakein von Floret farms. Your debut book, The cut flower garden, is a step-by-step planner for anyone wanting to grow their own – especially good for those with limited space. While the first 45 pages are a great guide: from planning your property to Seeds 101 to all of the timings and tools detailed for those just starting out; It’s the rest of the book that draws me into a fantasy of seasonal blooms. Each of the four seasonal flowers has its own area, and while looking through the exciting photos, I escape my inability and visualize myself as a productive gardener. I am taken from my sofa to a country where the air is virus free and yet peonies and phlox blows without the stress of having to keep anything else alive.
Based on the success of The cut flower garden, its continuation, A year in flowers – arrange the beautiful cut flowers, which you may or may not have grown – made them New York Times’ Best seller list this year. And a third book dedicated to dahlias will be out next year. Monty Don is also releasing a book next week: My garden world: the natural year Charting Our Monty’s garden journey through the natural year, month after month, season after season – and is a highlight of his notes and diaries worth over 60 years.
Martha Stewart, who doesn’t miss a good nesting trend, has come up with a new television series called Martha knows best. The episodes show Martha on her 150-acre farm in Westchester County, New York. While the camera pans over her beautifully manicured lawns and the wild geese frolic happily, Martha shares tips on how to plant a border and why you should choose coordinated planters made of stone, concrete and marble. Celebrity friends like comedian Jay Leno and rapper Snoop Dogg request advice for beginners – how to repot plants – and she surprises “real people” by answering their planting dilemmas via video chat. The perfect TV tariff for the armchair gardener.
Back in the UK, assistant gardeners still have time to see the Nick Knight Roses from my garden Photo exhibition at Waddeston Manor. In Chichester, Pallant House has a show that celebrates nature Attracted by nature and London’s first art fair inspired by plants: Super nature will take place from October 9th to 11th, 2020 in the garden museum Super nature You can see beautiful works of art celebrating the joy of plants, flowers, and gardens, and create art inspired by nature itself in flower printing and abstract flower painting workshops hosted by the exhibiting artists. Tickets cost £ 5 and reservation is essential.
So if like me you have the pleasure to sit back and read, this is the surrogate gardening year. Step into this trend from your sofa, on your daily outings, or while photographing your community’s efforts.
Alexia Economou is a design and culture journalist and a regular contributor to TNMA @thedesignfeedTW
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