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A “pandemic” plan that makes sense. Gardening the troubles away.

At Soothing Company, a St. George, Utah, retailer that specializes in outdoor décor, year-over-year sales in home fountains burbled up 35% in 2020. And when Burpee, a plant and seed purveyor in Warminster, Penn., drilled down into the 30% growth in sales it experienced from 2019 to 2020, a pattern emerged: Buyers sought plants that exude calm. Sales spiked for ornamental grasses and for flowers in historically less-popular colors like white and pale blue. Burpee declared “quiet gardens” a trend for 2021.

What differentiates an oasis of calm from a typical backyard? A more immersive experience. “Your attention is occupied by sights, sounds, smells, textures—and the more multisensory you make something, the less likely you are to think about work,” said Giulia Poerio, Ph.D., a psychology researcher who focuses on emotion and well-being at England’s University of Essex. Here’s how to build your botanical chill pill.

This certainly beats pills, booze, and the plug-in drugs. Now, if these people would start growing food, that would be grand.