Coping with the pandemic: Franz starts gardening a little early this year

Laura Franz of Newton tends to a few of her pansies on the back porch. Wendy Nugent/Newton Now

By Wendy Nugent, Newton Now

Flowers can be a sign of hope, of life during this uncertain pandemic time.

Many folks are busier this year than perhaps during other years, putting the multi-colored beauties in the ground, in pots or other plant containers. Gardening is something people can do outside, whether or not it’s chilly.

One Newton resident, Laura Franz, believes her flower planting is helping her through the pandemic.

“I wanted something to do, and also to brighten up someone’s day, so I made a few extra potted plants for my daughter and a friend,” she said from the safety of her home.

As of Thursday, Franz had a number of pansies growing in her back yard, in various locations and containers, although she said some critters have been rummaging through her lovelies at night, as she finds signs they’ve been there the next day.

It’s a little early for her to start planting, but she had an offer she couldn’t refuse.

“We normally wait until mid-April, but we saw a curbside offer at the nursery we like to buy plants from, so we decided to do a bit of early planting since pansies can hold up in the cold,” she said.

Franz likes to plant flowers, and they also have a vegetable garden.

“I normally will plant things that attract both butterflies and bees,” she said. “We also enjoy seeing the hummingbirds come to the feeder, so we will get their feeders out in the next week or so. We plant a mix of annuals and perennials.”

She gardens for several reasons.

“Seeing the beautiful results and seeing the birds and bees and hummingbirds enjoying it too,” she said.

Franz said she got her love of gardening from her mother.

“We always had rose bushes,” she said.

With the flowers, Franz incorporates another one of her hobbies, which is photography. She likes taking photos of the blooms, as well as just enjoying their beauty. She also photographs landscapes and seascapes, and with the pandemic, she’s also tried her hand at making bread.

Franz said she’s working on and off from home now.

“Our office has divided into two teams,” she said. “Team A works the office one week, then cleans and disinfects for Team B the next week. We aren’t open to the public but answering phones and renewing tags by mail and webmail.”

Franz works at the Harvey County Courthouse.

She said she’ll be happy when this is all over and things can get back to normal.

“I have a new grandson, who is 1 month old, and his 2 ½-year-old sister that I am missing very much,” she said. “Also for the safety and good health for all, I wish people would stay home if they aren’t working and realize how serious this is.”

Tags from the story
, ,
0 replies on “Coping with the pandemic: Franz starts gardening a little early this year”