Picture of comfort: Gardening in times of crisis (animation)

Why We Wrote This

Her grandmother’s garden got her through World War II. Now our contributor is turning to her own blooms as the world faces another crisis. This animated video brings her story to colorful life. 

For Perdita Buchan, the days of World War II in Britain were not bleak, but filled with joyful color. She spent her youth exploring her grandmother’s flourishing garden, a haven from the war.

She had come home with her mother to her grandmother’s house while her father flew airplanes in the Royal Air Force. Her grandmother was a civil air raid warden – but also the keeper of a beautiful garden that fascinated the young Perdita. 

While enemy planes stalked the skies above Britain, she found solace digging among the puschkinia and gladiolus flowers, and delight in making her grandmother laugh under the rose pergola.

Today, Ms. Buchan tends to the buds and blooms in her own garden, which again is bringing her consolation through a different crisis – a pandemic. The garden, and the memory of her grandmother, are a balm in troubling times. 

Using mixed media animation by artist Jules Struck, Ms. Buchan’s Home Forum essay “Two Gardens, Two Crises” describes in her own words the comfort of a garden.

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