Sweet and Sour
Turning Inward

A Very Different Kind of Happy Place

As I wrote about earlier this week, I'm holding firm to my strict stay-safe-at-home routine. (Technically, this is not an really issue for me yet because here in Michigan, we are still under a shelter-in-place order).

But I decided to make one big exception:  I visited my favorite nursery this morning.  
(Landscaping services and garden-related shops were declared "essential" here in Michigan only recently.)


Normally, going to the nursery is . . . going to my Happy Place.  I wander and I ponder and I take my time.  I find inspiration and I take pictures and I just relax and enjoy myself.  But, of course, these are not normal times.  

This morning, my favorite nursery still LOOKED like my favorite nursery.  The plants were just as gorgeous and lush as always. I knew where to find everything.  It smelled fresh and green and grow-y.  It felt so good to be there again.  

But yet. . . 

It also felt really weird. Surreal, actually. All the other gardeners had masks on. Everyone was polite and careful about making sure we could social-distance appropriatately. The nursery had all kinds of procedures in place to make shopping safe:  one-way aisles, carefully wiped-down carts, no-touch hand santizer dispensers, no-contact credit card readers, everything you need to feel (sorta) comfortable plant-shopping in a pandemic.  But it was so . . . quiet. No one was laughing or talking or even asking for help. It was so very, very quiet.

(At one point, I just felt so overwhelmed that I shed a few tears. It just . . . happened. And I couldn't do a thing about it.)


I got in. I got out.

I picked up what I went in for: my herbs and a few plants for my front porch containers and hanging ferns for my patio. I didn't jot any notes. I didn't take pictures of anything for future reference or inspiration. I didn't browse. (Much.) (Because I did still end up with a few things that just caught my eye. . . )

And then I came home and jumped in the shower!

So it IS still my Happy Place.
It's just a very different KIND of Happy Place.  
("Enriched" now, as it is . . . with sad, scary, surreal-ness.)



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I know how you feel! My favorite nursery would do orders only until two weeks ago. They were deemed essential from the start but you couldn’t wander through their aisles unless you made an appointment. I did a fairly large order of perennials and did a curbside pick up earlier this month. I found myself staring into the nursery longing to browse, photograph and dream. Last week I went to a smaller nursery close by very early in the morning. Very quiet. Got what I needed and left. I really want to go back to the large nursery but not so sure I will. Sigh.


We went earlier this week to grab a few things...it is so quiet with the masks. My goodness I hope our good behavior brings a different spring 2021 our way! xo


Such a bittersweet post! I'm glad you got to go to your happy place, but I'm not at all a fan of the sad, scary, surreal part. Our local nursery closed at the end of last year, and my next favorite is 45 minutes away. I haven't yet made the trip but will need to don my mask and go one of these days. Enjoy digging in the dirt!


I plan to go either this weekend or early next week and I'm glad you shared your experience because it will help me to mentally prepare for mine.


The surreal thing here is the number of people NOT wearing mask (most are). We went first thing in the morning and got what we wanted and left. The nursery also had taken measures to keep people safe. I don't plan on going back. I had to have flowers for my patio just to help my mental state and now I'm so happy I have that bright spot in my life. (Utah has opened up and it's scarier than ever out there!)


Grocery stores and Costco only until last week when we went to an un named big box store (not Target) for some household essentials (not toilet paper). Customers there ran the gamut from all masked up to easy breezy day at the beach behavior. Be forewarned. Costco by the way the most pandemic-friendly so far. You don't even have to unload your cart. They will "wand" your purchases right in the cart and you need only to touch your credit card. They also stock most needed items up front in the aisles so no wandering needed.


I have only been out of the house to exercise and once to pick up plants we ordered from a plant sale (contactless -- I opened my back hatch and they put them in the car). I've noticed, though, that when I'm out walking with a mask on, I feel a little like I've been muzzled. I know you can talk through a mask, but your voice is so muffled that sometimes it doesn't feel like it's worth the effort. I wonder if others are feeling the same way and that's why it seems so quiet when people are in the same space. I'll have to ask my husband if he's noticed that when he does the grocery shopping.

Anyway, I hope you have many happy hours in your garden this weekend! It's supposed to rain all day here today, so I'm hoping all the plants we got in the ground last weekend get a good drink and get good and established.


I am hoping to get to my greenhouse today (fingers crossed the rain lets up a bit) but they have sent emails clearly outlining the "new rules".

Sending you some hugs today! XO


Your plants all look so healthy & good!! Wishing you good garden time, Kym!


ND has never been in total lockdown but I haven't been to the nearest big town for 2 months. I went yesterday and felt that things were going on as normal but they weren't. It was a strange feeling. Some people in masks but the majority weren't. Everything was quieter, like you said, but I did visit with a couple my age at the garden center. I in my mask and they without any. I made more stops than I wanted to but I don't intend to go back again for as long as possible. My 1/2 mulched flowerbed will have to stay that way for the time being! Enjoy planting your new plants!!

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