With the COVID-19 pandemic and the constant loom of a lockdown, people still find the time to pursue new hobbies.
Home gardening, previously seen as a pastime only the elderly might appreciate, has struck a chord with the younger generation as an avenue to relax.
The rise in popularity is reflected in a small but tight-knit community that has sprouted in the nation.
Recently, the community organised a plant swap activity where like-minded individuals shared their knowledge on gardening practices and exchanged plants.
Home gardener Nabilah binti Haris, operates a group called Tiny Ivy on Instagram. She has liked gardening since primary school and started to take it seriously a few years back.
She created Tiny Ivy to alleviate stress as she was unemployed in 2017, saying that home gardening brought back a sense of work-life balance.
Speaking on the challenges of home gardening, she said, “There was definitely a learning curve because I started gardening outdoors. For indoor gardening, you have to consider how to take care of the plants, such as the amount of sunlight and water which will decide how the plant will grow.”
This knowledge expanded over the years, as more people have begun to take it up to express themselves and relieve stress.
Recently established online group, Nookplants.bn, provides common and rare plants. Nookplants.bn owner is Muqsith bin Yahya. He said the group started because of a video-game. “The name was inspired by the character from Animal Crossing: New Horizon which also has gardening involved.”
Being a collector and seller of rare plants, Muqsith said, “The more plants you have, the more work is needed to maintain. Other than controlling pests, there are seasons for each plant that needs to be taken into consideration.”
Speaking on the COVID-19 era, the challenges of adapting to the new norm accompanied by the rising demand of plants, Muqsith, said, “It was tough at first but once you establish a connection, it becomes easier.” He noticed the positive growth of the home gardening community as a step forward. “The community is growing fast, and it is getting attention from youth.
“It opens so many doors to the number of plant species that we can find and offer as everyone has their own preferences. “I aim to maintain and grow the community to further instil a love for plants, and not to lose interest. It is a fun hobby where we can relieve stress.”