Many of us turned to gardening for solace during the pandemic. Now Martha Stewart and Drew Barrymore want to guide us to green thumbs.
Last spring, as the world descended into a collective panic, Drew Barrymore planted her first lawn. “I did not think I could do this,” said Ms. Barrymore, 46, who until last year did not include gardening in her exhaustive list of achievements.
And yet, the actress, writer, producer, businesswoman, mother and recent television host managed to make grass grow. “It was all barren. I got the water and the rake and the bag of seed and I waited weeks and watched it grow,” she said, speaking by phone as one of her two daughters vied for her attention in the background.
In early-stage pandemic fashion, she — like many other locked-down homeowners — also got chickens and planted a victory garden, growing tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, strawberries and squash. “It was a miracle. I never knew I could do these things, I didn’t think I was capable of it,” said Ms. Barrymore, who lives on the East Coast. “I felt really empowered.”
Now, she is sharing her enthusiasm for grass as the face of Instead, a new lawn-care subscription service that fertilizes grass using ingredients like molasses, wheat flour, feather meal, blood meal and alfalfa. Over the course of the growing season, subscribers who pay $132 for a small lawn or $264 for a large one will receive three packages that promise to deliver a “happy lawn” that will be “overjoyed with this special recipe.”
Ms. Barrymore is the latest celebrity to seize on a moment when millions of Americans have turned to their gardens as a source of solace, and to spin it into a business opportunity. Martha Stewart was the first to read the room. She weathered the pandemic last summer by filming “Martha Knows Best” for HGTV, a reality series about life on her sprawling Bedford, N.Y., estate, followed quickly with a second series in the fall. The show is now filming its third season, to air this summer.
Last October, Aly Raisman, the Olympic gymnast who frequently posts Instagram