146779 - where birds felt louder.pdf (452.91 kB)
Where birds felt louder: The garden as a refuge during COVID-19
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-21, 02:44 authored by Pauline MarshPauline Marsh, Diekmann, LO, Egerer, M, Lin, D, Ossala, A, Kingsley, J
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries experienced something of a boom in interest in gardening. Gardens have long been considered as refuges into which we retreat to escape various struggles and challenges. In this study we examine the characteristics and functions of the garden as a refuge during the period of increased garden interest associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Analysis of qualitative results about garden experiences from 3,743 survey respondents revealed intertwining garden and emotional geographies. Utilising nonrepresentational and therapeutic landscape theories, we found multifarious and heightened experiences of non-material aspects of gardens; that is, the sensory and emotional aspects. People experienced, for example, a sense of joy, beauty, and reassurance, a greater attunement to the natural world and an increased sense of nature connection than they had at other times: birds felt louder. These heightened sensory and emotional experiences had therapeutic benefits, across age and geographical spectrums, during these difficult times. This research improves our understandings of the positive potential of non-material aspects of gardens in the creation of therapeutic landscapes in and beyond COVID-19.
Publication titleWellbeing, Space and Society
Department/SchoolSchool of Health Sciences
Place of publicationNetherlands
Rights statement© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)license, (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)