Gardening As a Stay-At-Home Therapy

. . . It’s easier than you may think!

What all gardeners know, and the rest of you may discover, is that if you have even the smallest space, a pot on a window ledge, a front step, a wee yard, there is no balm to the soul greater than planting seeds. Watching them begin to sprout, checking far too often as the firm yet fragile stems break free of the soil, the dry seed-case caps, is a joy so strong you can feel it in your knuckles. Rose-geranium leaves and thyme flowers, the hit of petrichor from damp soil, are the scents of heaven.  (Charlotte Mendelson – The Tonic of Gardening in Quarantine)

So, you don’t have a garden?  There are many alternatives.  Do you have a bit of space on a patio or deck?

A 4ft x 4ft raised bed like this one can be purchased from Amazon, and will allow you to grow all sorts of flowers and vegetables.


No space on a patio or deck?  How about a Canadian Cedar Elevated Wood Planter like this — also from Amazon? Various sizes are available: 34x18x30 Inches, 49x23x30 Inches, 49x34x30 Inches or 72x23x30 Inches.

What next?

You have your raised bed or planter.  Now what?  You will need to fill it with some good soil. Miracle-Gro Raised Bed Soil is probably a good choice.  You can figure out how many bags you may need from the instructions shown here (or see a bigger picture here).

Now for the fun part . . .

You can plant seeds or plants — available from Lowes, Home Depot or any of the many garden nurseries in the area, such as McDonalds (nearest location is 1303 Jamestown Road — at the far end of Colony Square Shopping Center), Coleman Nursery (3000 Ironbound Road — Rt 5 to Governor’s Green Shopping Center, then left), Homestead Garden Center (4191 Rochambeau Drive), and others.

But it may be more interesting to propagate your plants from cuttings. You may find Propagating Plants: How to Create New Plants for Free by Alan Toogood to be a useful and interesting source of information.

Some plants that are easy to grow from stem or leaf cuttings:

  • Pothos
  • Tradescantia
  • Umbrella plant
  • African violets
  • Rosemary
  • Philodendron
  • Prayer plant