Gardening and indoor plants have been going in and out of style nearly since civilizations began. What would a classroom have been in the 70s, 80s and 90s without spider plants galore? The German’s still love their garden homes outside the urban citiies, and current design aesthetic favours succulents heavily. But, I think gardening and houseplants should rise above trends. We need them.
For most of my life, I thought I had a black thumb, the touch of death – I killed every plant I’d ever purchased or been gifted… including lucky bamboo. The lack of skill that requires is somewhat impressive, I suppose.
Then, a few years ago, I became committed to making my indoor environment a healthier one, and I knew I’d need the help of plants to achieve my mission! Yes, there were more than a few casualties, but here’s the thing – having a green thumb is a skill you hone, not something you’re born with. Over the last few years I’ve learned how to take care of my plants – what they need and what they’re telling me. I now have 8 plants that I’ve kept alive for over 2 years, even through 2 moves! Plus, I keep adding more to my collection!
Last year, we decided to try our hands at an outdoor pot garden outdoors – we grew cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, a few carrots, some kale and lettuce from seeds. Again, there were casualties – but we learned more! And, there were delicious results!
In line with our May theme of “Nurturing” and because it’s the perfect time of year to grow a new plant, below I delve in to what I believe are the Top 5 Nurturing Qualities of Plants!
Maybe you’re nervous to try gardening or caring for houseplants because you have a history like mine? Don’t be. If you haven’t tried your hand at being a plant-parent lately, keep reading for 5 reasons why you might give it one more try this spring!
Cleaner air indoors and out
Indoor air is contaminated with pollutants and chemicals from paint fumes to off-gassing fabrics and furniture, to mold and carbon monoxide. Outdoors, the air is full of carbon dioxide, methane, car exhaust, and tobacco smoke.
Plants can help absorb these chemicals and toxins, which prevents us from breathing them in!
Indoors houseplants like Boston Fern, Aloe Vera, Snake Plant, and Peace Lily are incredibly easy to care for and in turn will help care for the air in your home! Outdoor plants like Ivy, Mums, Daisies, and hardwood trees all do considerable work to make our cities more liveable and less toxic.
A More Resilient Immune System
Soil is absolutely teeming with microbes – and that’s a good thing! Thanks to the beneficial bacteria found within soil, gardening can actually help strengthen your immune system! Certain microbes found in soil may also help lessen the occurrence and severity of allergies. So, get out there and get a little dirty!
The Most Local Food Imaginable!
Food that comes from your backyard, or herbs from your kitchen windowsill are about as local as it gets! You know exactly how the food was grown, how much energy it required, and you’ve eliminated nearly all of the fossil fuels used in transport to get food to your plate.
Food you grow yourself not only reduces carbon emissions – it also tastes better and is more nutritious! Food loses nutrients from the moment we pick it. For apples in a super market, they may have been stored a full year before you eat them! An apple picked from a backyard tree has more nutrients, like vitamin C, and the amazing flavour will deliver the message of freshness directly to your taste buds!
Gardening provides physical exercise, sunlight, fresh air, and a meditative-like experience. All of these factors will help reduce stress levels. Because many gardening tasks are repetitive, like weeding, and don’t require much active thought, it allows your brain the space and time to contemplate other areas of life. This, in turn, helps many people feel rested and more clear-headed after time spent gardening.
Indoor plants have a similar power over us. Seeing greenery, or any type of nature, helps us feel more calm and relaxed. Houseplants have been shown to increase concentration and productivity by up to 15%. So, maybe your first indoor plant will be one for your office desk!
What’s the last new thing you learned to do? How did you feel the last time you took care of someone or something? It feels good doesn’t it?
Taking care of plants, can effectively increase our self-esteem! As if you needed one more reason to love yourself!
Are you trying your hand at gardening or caring for houseplants this spring? If so, tell us in the comments below!