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Where birds felt louder: The garden as a refuge during COVID-19


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Marsh, P ORCID: 0000-0002-4371-2628, Diekmann, LO, Egerer, M, Lin, D, Ossala, A and Kingsley, J 2021 , 'Where birds felt louder: The garden as a refuge during COVID-19' , Wellbeing, Space and Society, vol. 2 , pp. 1-7 , doi: 10.1016/j.wss.2021.100055.

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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 increasedgarden interest associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Analysis of qualitative results about garden experiencesfrom 3,743 survey respondents revealed intertwining garden and emotional geographies. Utilising nonrepresentational and therapeutic landscape theories, we found multifarious and heightened experiences ofnon-material aspects of gardens; that is, the sensory and emotional aspects. People experienced, for example, asense of joy, beauty, and reassurance, a greater attunement to the natural world and an increased sense of natureconnection than they had at other times: birds felt louder. These heightened sensory and emotional experienceshad therapeutic benefits, across age and geographical spectrums, during these difficult times. This researchimproves our understandings of the positive potential of non-material aspects of gardens in the creation oftherapeutic landscapes in and beyond COVID-19.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Marsh, P and Diekmann, LO and Egerer, M and Lin, D and Ossala, A and Kingsley, J
Keywords: affect, attunement, domestic nature, non-representational theory, therapeutic landscapes, garden
Journal or Publication Title: Wellbeing, Space and Society
Publisher: Elsevier BV
ISSN: 2666-5581
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.wss.2021.100055
Copyright Information:

© 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, (

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