The social distancing measures of Covid-19 have brought us all together in ways that were simply unimaginable twelve months ago. During lockdown, we came up with creative ideas for feeling close to our loved ones and showing our support for each other. From drive-by birthdays to clapping for key workers, shopping for those shielding, and plant-based entertainment in the form of Virtual Chelsea 2020, we all pulled together to tackle the virus. We worked hard to fill the sudden physical and emotional distance between us with gestures of love and support.
Now that measures are easing, we find ouselves in a new, unfamiliar space. The things that we're allowed to do, the places we can go, and the people we can see are changing all the time. Depending on our circumstances, we all also follow the rules slightly differently. Some of us who are key workers cannot avoid leaving the house every day for work, while others who are shielding still hesitate to meet up with friends. Whatever your personal situation, there's no denying this new, socially-distaced way of living will take some getting used to.
Stay alert and show support
Although we have to remain physically separate, let's fill the distance between us with beauty and give a cheerful plant as a positive symbol of love and support. Let's give plants to grandparents who still can't look after their grandchildren, to pensioners in care homes who may be feeling lonely, to friends who are shielding with underlying health conditions, to the local entrepreneurs trying to keep their businesses afloat, and to own mums, who we haven't hugged in months.
The positive effects of plants
We know from research that plants are very effective at reducing stress at home. Encourage each other to benefit from their relaxing effects and build a leafy retreat at home to recharge in, or use them to create a holiday feeling in the bedroom or bathroom. An afternoon spent repotting plants is also an excellent way to unwind. When our hands are in the soil, our mind stills, and we feel at peace — an excellent antidote to this time of uncertainty.
Plants with a message
Remember, it's all about the gesture. Pick up a plant from a local boutique, then take it round to your neighbour's or to your friend across town. Instead of a hug, fill the distance with the plant you've chosen specially for them, and watch their face light up. If you can't see them, then you can always arrange for the plant to be delivered (several plant shops now offer online delivery), and let them know you'd love to catch up once they're able to come outside again.
For houseplant gift that will bring beauty and aesthetic appeal to an interior, look no further than these ten green objets d'art. Or to give meaning to your gesture, choose plants with an appropriate symbolism. Jasmine stands for strength, the Yucca for protection, Cymbidium orchids for friendship and Echeveria for perseverance and strength.
To bring the positive effects of plants to your neighbourhood, create your own outdoor paradise by transforming your front garden with plants and fill the entire street with their beauty. This will help out the wildlife in your local area as well, by providing them with more natural habitat. Lastly, don't forget about your own environment, and filll up your home with indoor plants.