Meet Bear and Kenzi!
These two lovelies are our greenhouse dogs. Kenzi makes sure the place is thoroughly sniffed, and Bear uses his tail to make sure the plants get enough air flow and that we take pet breaks. They are two of the sweetest dogs you might ever meet. In fact, Kenzi even does some canine therapy once in a while.
Canine therapy, and animal therapy in general, has been gaining popularity over the last few years. Many studies have been done regarding the effects animals have on physical, emotional, and mental health. In short, animals improve quality of life, even if it's just a fish tank!
Though plants may not cuddle with you or float through the water flashing their pretty fins, plants have been shown to improve quality of life. Science has even taken this on and done studies in nursing homes, comparing the difference between residents who have plants to take care of and those who didn't. Those with plants to care for reported being more satisfied in their quality of life. The plants gave a sense of responsibility for another living thing, and brought a bit of life into their space.
But, most of us aren't in a nursing home...what can plants do for us? Well, keeping with the theme of the last post, here are 7 Things Plants Will Do For You:
1. They get you outside more often
I know I've said it before, but I get so excited to get outside and into my garden come spring. That desire to be outside, watch my plants grow, care for them, and harvest from them doesn't die in June either. All spring, summer, and fall, I make multiple trips outside to just look at my plants, pull a few weeds, or cut a few flowers. Spring sees me cleaning up the debris from the winter, summer sees me tending and enjoying, and fall sees me preparing my flower babies for winter. As an article for the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture states "people who spend more time outside in nature have better mental health and a more positive outlook on life." So in this case, the benefit comes from being outside, but the draw outdoors are my plants.
4. They improve your mental health
5. Indoor plants improve air quality
Since we are stocking some plants that would do well outdoors as well as indoors this year, I thought this would be a good one to include. Many of us know the significance trees and other plants have on the oxygen levels in an area. The Amazon Rainforest is one of the most important forests in the world as it generates a huge amount of oxygen and releases it into the atmosphere. On a small scale, plants will do this in your home. Just like all living things, plants respire, or breathe. But what plants breath in is carbon dioxide, which is what we breath out. Their natural design is to take our waste and turn it back into a life-giving substance! How amazing is that!?
7. Gardening is therapeutic
Gardening is an act of nurturing. Physical exertion along with being outside, lowering your stress, increasing your mental capacity, and busying your hands for a constructive purpose are the hall marks of therapy. It's the same list you will see when it comes to other forms of therapy. Gardening encourages creativity, it shows you the product of your efforts, it is work, it is beautiful, it is natural.
So if you're looking to start something new, or just need a reason to walk into the greenhouse, here you have it!
Keep calm and garden on!
1. "Health and well-being benefits of plants" by Ellison Chair in International Floriculture
2. "Think you don't need houseplants? Science says different" by Noma Nazish. Forbes. February 10, 2018.
3. "Why indoor plants make you feel better" by Sophie Lee. NBC News. July 13, 2017