Gardening improves physical health and produces nutritious homegrown goodies, but its therapeutic benefits extend beyond that. From relaxation and stress relief to formal therapist-directed programs, mental and emotional wellbeing get welcome boosts along the garden path.
Like outdoor garden settings, viewing green plants in indoor living spaces can perk up your spirits and your sense of wellbeing. But the benefits of caring for a living plant, even a single houseplant, transcend green views.Outdoor gardening and plant care exposes people to sunshine and high amounts of vitamin D, a synthesizer of serotonin. Serotonin is the chemical in brains that induces happiness. In addition, Gardening can act as a gentle reminder to us that we are not the centre of the universe. Self-absorption can contribute to depression, and focusing on the great outdoors – even in the pared-down form of a patio – can encourage us to be less insular.
Rituals can help us work through difficult emotions, including grief, and gardening is a form of ritual involving both the giving of life and acknowledgment of its end; it’s symbolic of regeneration. It’s no coincidence we create gardens of remembrance and mark the scattered ashes and graves of our loved ones with roses, shrubs, and trees; by doing so we’re acknowledging that from dust we all come and to dust we return.
You don’t need a garden the size of a meadow to enjoy horticulture; you don’t even need a large patio. Just one hanging basket or few pots along a window ledge can lift the spirits whenever you look at them, and if you’re strapped for cash, why not recycle an old container like a colander or ice-cream carton? So, if you would like to start a little bit of happiness with plants. Try Nasturtium or sweet peas to plant in a container or, if you can find a patch of earth which gets sunshine, try sowing sunflowers or wildflowers. Either way this spring, start thinking of a way to bring a little happiness with plants. You can find flower seeds at our etsy shop: http://www.printhousedesign.com