Gardens of Retreat and Rebirth

Stories About Recovery, Dirty-Shovel Therapy, and How to Start Your Own Backyard Farm

Published May 14, 2020

In the age of coronavirus, there’s a growing — and completely logical — fascination with gardening. It’s always been an obvious means of growing our own food, even if in mostly symbolic quantities, and now we’re stuck mostly at home, so there’s finally time to tackle the tasks. Perhaps more importantly in such an uncertain era, gardening provides a sense of accomplishment in the doing and a sense of wonder in the watching, as seeds sprout forth into flowers and fruits.

For our annual Home & Garden issue — which includes an eight-page section in the middle of this newspaper — we’re shining the light on our newfound collective love for gardening with three stories. One is a personal take on what gardening means to our Senior Editor Tyler Hayden during this quarantined time, and another is a how-to piece by Randy “Mr. Greenjeans” Arnowitz about starting your own garden at home, no matter how small or large your yard may be. And last but not least, writer Leslie Dinaberg shows how gardens can be a source of rebirth and recovery, as evidenced following the Montecito debris flow of 2018.

So get dirty, and enjoy. — Leslie Dinaberg