Larry Hodgson – In a COVID-19 Summer, So Many Gardens to Visit!

July 24, 2020

In this summer of the COVID-19 pandemic, circumstances far beyond our control have kept most of us close to home. So, as a special summer project to keep our minds and hands busy and put fresh food on our table, many of us have renewed with the age-old tradition of growing our own vegetables. A true victory garden: victory over a malicious virus! No need to go any further than the back or front yard or even the balcony to grow a few tomatoes, zucchinis and lettuces.

It’s a healthy reaction in the “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” category. It shows you are resilient and adaptable. If someone dropped you on a desert island with just the clothes on your back, you’d probably survive!

But as the confinement lessens and stores and restaurants open, we’re pretty much all glad to be getting out of the house and doing something else. Anything else! And why not put visiting a local garden high on your list?

Visiting a garden is, for one thing, all about being outdoors and is thus particularly safe. There are rarely crowds and line-ups, so you can relax and enjoy the beauty and tranquility. Go with your family. Or a friend … it will be easy to keep a proper social distance without people bumping into you like in a shopping centre.

Visiting a garden is good for your body, too. Ask any doctor about the benefits of a walk outdoors, usually considered the very best exercise! And it’s good for your psyche. All that open space, the beautiful plants and flowers, the impression of freedom: a real morale booster! Plus, you get to relax for once: it’s like yoga, but with flowers!

Check around: most local public gardens are open and await your visit. Within your province—or possibly neighbouring provinces, depending on what restrictions are being applied—there are probably a number of gardens to see. There will be a few COVID-19 directives to follow, like bringing a bottle of water with you, but nothing too restrictive.

At Canada’s Garden Route, we’re working on preparing a series of garden circuits called Canada’s Garden Road Trips. These include garden destinations, as well as local relevant attractions, shops and restaurants, so you can enjoy a day or weekend trip. One is already up and ready: Ottawa’s Garden Promenade Road Trip with 75 gardens you can visit. Stay tuned as we’ll be adding more over the summer.

Check out the gardens on the Gardens Canada website. You’ll find there’s plenty to discover!

So, make the summer of 2020 not a summer of confinement, but a summer of discovery and visit some of Canada’s public gardens starting this very week!