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


Marsh, P and Diekmann, LO and Egerer, M and Lin, D and Ossala, A and Kingsley, J, Where birds felt louder: The garden as a refuge during COVID-19, Wellbeing, Space and Society, 2 pp. 1-7. ISSN 2666-5581 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 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, (

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DOI: doi:10.1016/j.wss.2021.100055


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.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:affect, attunement, domestic nature, non-representational theory, therapeutic landscapes, garden
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Health geography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
UTAS Author:Marsh, P (Dr Pauline Marsh)
ID Code:146779
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2021-09-27
Last Modified:2021-10-20
Downloads:10 View Download Statistics

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