Biophilia, first termed in 1984 by E.O. Wilson, is defined as the innate human need to connect with nature. As most gardeners know, there are more benefits to gardening than just fresh produce and flowers. It is the sense of well-being and connection to the Earth that draws us, resulting in lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduced stress, greater health and peace of mind. Studies have shown that illness is less common and recovery from medical procedures is more rapid in green environments.
In homes and offices that have green spaces, productivity is boosted by as much as 15%. Plants positively impact mood, perception and creativity. Use of color such as blue, purple, pastels and green provide a sense of calm and refreshment, while warmer, contrasting colors stimulate energy and excitement.
Air quality improves as plants clean the air of allergens and pollutants, while increasing levels of humidity and oxygen. Leaves, roots and soil bacteria remove trace levels of toxins. Combining activated carbon in the soil adds even more. It is evident that we are dependent and interconnected with all these processes, therefore, it is in our best interest to protect and ensure that our environment is as pollution-free as possible. Take care of the Earth and it will take care of us.
Indoors, top plants to boost healthy-living are Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea), Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema), English Ivy (Hedera), Snake Plant (Sansevieria), Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum), Dracaena, Gerbera Daisy, Potted Chrysanthemum, Golden Pothos (Epipremnum), Spider Plant (Chlorophytum) and Philodendron. On average, one 6-8 inch potted plant improves air quality for each 100 sq.ft. of living space. Tending these easy-care plants will reward you many times over.
Spending time amongst nature’s living things, whether inside or out, will improve many aspects of life. Gardening is one of the healthiest pastimes we can do. If we grow flowers, fruit or vegetables, we’ll benefit pollinators as well as ourselves. Creating a garden exclusively for wildlife improves the planet. Let’s consider the bigger picture this spring as we plan our garden; we are all interconnected in this marvelous web of life. What we do has a ripple effect that radiates outward– make it a positive impact!