IMG_8851Biophilia, 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.

IMG_8635In 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.

IMG_4938Spending 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!

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
This entry was posted in Country Gardening, My Photos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

107 Responses to Biophilia

  1. Jet Eliot says:

    I so enjoyed this celebration of plants and nature, Eliza. And the photos were great too. I liked the underside of the veined frond, the summery coneflowers and the bee, too. Have fun planning your new garden, always a joy.

  2. While here in SC, I feel the need to visit Brookgreen Gardens at least once a week. The pull of the flowering plants, the turtles, alligators, and the butterflies all seem to reach out to me. 🙂 I haven’t seen you on line in a while, and I hope it was because you were busy and not sick.

  3. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Great photos and post Eliza:)

  4. Alice Pratt says:

    So true Eliza! Glad you are feeling better! I, too, miss your posts & check if I’ve missed any. I’d feel 1/2 dead…not 1/2 alive….if I didn’t have plants growing in the house…Cuphea shoots in one jar have lots of roots…will be fun to plant outside, to welcome Hummingbirds…two open gorgeous, pale orange Gerbera flowers with a third on the way….3 Amaryllis bulbs that have stems growing…bought a deep pink African Violet yesterday…just because I needed it….a dozen Red Roses from my son, given the day before Valentine’s….look fresh cut….Hibiscus plants prospering..Rosemary plant from last summer.etc….it just started snowing, after we broke all records of 70° for the last 2 days!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      I wouldn’t be able to make it through our winters without plants and flowers in abundance. I think I would wither and fade completely!
      I must say I did enjoy gathering some rays the past two days – it’s been too long without sun on my skin. 🙂

  5. Treah says:

    What a positive impact you have made with this message! Thank you!

  6. Great post Eliza. I need to purchase more house plants!

  7. Our garden still resting under a snow blanket. Your post reminds me that I and perhaps the garden are dreaming of Spring! Thank

  8. arlingwoman says:

    Great post. I’m glad you are better. I do love plants. It’s nice to know some other people who do as well.

  9. AmyRose🌹 says:

    How I look forward in being in my gardens again, Eliza! I always feel better and feel younger when outside in my gardens and in the forests. Yes we ALL must remember we are connected to Mother for it is She who gives us life! Beautiful post!! Thank you! 💖

  10. Biophilia is a word I did not know yet I know all about its meaning. Thanks Eliza

  11. Lovely writing. I breathed a little deeper just reading it! Thank you.

  12. Laurie Graves says:

    Hear, hear! And as I saw in England, even small places in a town or city can have a tiny yard with beautiful flowers.

  13. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says:

    We are biophiles! Beautiful pictures. ❤ We must all protect Her. Thank you. ❤

  14. Kris P says:

    That’s a great advertisement for the importance of gardens and gardening, Eliza! Speaking of the connection between plants and productivity, have you seen coverage on the Amazon Spheres in Seattle? Loree (danger garden) posted on her recent tour of the exterior on February 13th and she provided links to coverage of the interior space, which is designed to support employees (and is available to outsiders only via hosted tours). It’s incredible! If I’d worked for a company that provided space like that, I’d probably still be there.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Yes, I did see Loree’s post and Amazon’s inspiring office space. It prompted me to do a search to learn more about it and actually led me to do this post. Ripple effects are a wonderful thing, esp. in the internet age. 🙂 Thanks, Kris!

  15. Lovely post, Eliza. I look forward to settling in a new home this year with space for gardening. I’ve missed it while living in temporary space. I have enjoyed some outdoor container gardening and I love my indoor plants so very much. Thank you for this invitation to Spring and heralding of new beginnings!

  16. What a wonderful post, informative and very applicable. Thanks for this Eliza!

  17. Widdershins says:

    We’d be lost if we didn’t have our garden, both indoors and out. 😀

  18. Peter Herpst says:

    What a marvelous celebration of flora and her devotees.

  19. Anne says:

    It is so good to hear from you again. This is a beautifully written and inspiring post. We have enjoyed a little rain at last, which makes getting into the garden such a pleasure. You are right about the beneficial effects thereof – the smell of the earth, leaves, flowers as well as the joy of seeing birds, butterflies and bees. I watched an Olive Thrush pull a long worm from the softened (at last!) ground yesterday and it made me feel good within to know that the garden is providing the sustenance that it should for those that live within it.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you very much, Anne. I’m glad you’ve had rain. A flourishing ecosystem is wonderful thing to behold and not to be taken for granted. I think gardeners esp. understand this.

  20. ladyfi says:

    Beautiful shots and such lovely words! A wonderful celebration of nature.

  21. albert says:

    I have always been a woods, mountains, and sea person ( in my heart, if not in fact), so I’m late coming to gardens. But now I’m here, thanks to you, Eliza, and a few special others. I
    can imagine that planting, nurturing, and just working through the seasons–these activities probably promote contemplation along with the providing the experience of simply living close to the earth. Also, in addition to the benefits you listed, there is all that beauty close at hand. Thanks for telling about these things, and including samples of what you get to see every day.

  22. MyLittleBird123 says:

    What a thoughtful piece. I knew I needed plants, have them all around my house but didn’t really think about why. Thank you.

  23. Kathy Sturr says:

    I don’t just like this I LOVE it!!! It’s my new religion: bioaphilla!

  24. spanishwoods says:

    Great post Eliza and beautiful images.

  25. It’s so nice to see some summery pictures here on a gloomy winter day. This is also a good reminder that I have to water my office tree – it’s helping to keep me healthy, even when cooped up in an office!

  26. Wonderful post, beautiful photos! Thank you for this. I’m sooo looking forward to warmer weather when we can begin our planting.
    🌱🌸🌿🌼🌻🏵️☘️ 😍

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you very much, Betty. Spring is right around the corner!

      • Eliza, just wanted you to know that last night I found a comment from you in my spam folder. I clicked on “not spam” and freed it. But then when I “approved” it, it disappeared. Ack! Anyway, just wanted to let you know I appreciated your comment. (I think it was one you made on my latest post.) Thank you! 🙂

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Glad I’ve been freed, thank you! WP does it periodically and I wish I knew why. It makes me realize I must check my own spam folder regularly.

  27. Adele Brand says:

    Beautiful post! And such an important message.

  28. Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos and information.🙂 I have been reading about some new plants and trees to add to the yard this year and I definitely need more house plants.🙂

  29. Rebecca says:

    Lovely post, Eliza. Plants ALWAYS make a difference, no matter what the environment, as far as I’m concerned! 🙂 xo

  30. Wonderful post! Eastern cultures have long understood the opportunity for “oneness” with nature. Years ago I read about Japanese water gardens and Tea Ceremony. So I built a 2400 koi water garden and took up bonsai. 🙂. Still learning, especially through my appreciation wabi-sabi. I believe this contributed to my photography interest in old stuff. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you! Nice to learn about your interests in Asian art forms. Their appreciation of nature is legendary. Shinrin-yoku is only now gaining followers here. Hope you can post about your gardens sometime. I’d love to see them!

  31. Robin says:

    Beautiful post, Eliza. ❤ I wish I could have house plants. Alas, the cats would eat them or drag them from their pots. I do have a few cacti in a pot which they don't dare touch.
    I think our connection to Mother Earth (and all of life) is deeper and more entangled than many realize.
    I bought seeds for the gardens today. I'll be out in the garden tomorrow, digging up the weeds that took over last year and getting ready for this year's flowers and vegetables. We may have to contend with an invasive creature this year. The Spotted Lantern Fly may be headed our way. Yikes.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Robin. We are definitely entangled and need Nature more than she needs us. Wish policy makers understood this.
      Have fun playing in the garden this weekend. The first few weeks before the bugs come out are the best. Are you mulching this year? It makes weeding a breeze, what little you have to do.
      Looked up lantern fly, yet another invasive from Asia, sigh. 😦

  32. NorCal Zen says:

    So well written and beautiful! It is so true that nature is the best medicine. My soul crave time in nature every day. I get restless if I don’t get my daily fix, and then I’m not fun to be around. Just getting out in nature makes me feel so good. I often wish that loved ones that are stressed out could experience the same release I get from just walking outdoors. You are blessed to know it in your soul. Your text and photos are perfect. Where did you take the photos?

  33. Happy to be a Biophilia Eliza!! Love this xx

  34. Alice Pratt says:

    Eliza….what are the bright orange flowers in your photo…leaves are iris’y’ and flower growth reminds me of fresia?

  35. neihtn2012 says:

    Nor knowing the term biophilia previously, I found this post most interesting!

  36. Val Boyko says:

    Who knew there was a word for this yearning for connection with our gardens, plants and trees.
    As I was reading your words and enjoying the photos, I swear my right hand started to imagine a pair of pruners in them, at the ready😊

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Val. It’s a-stirring in our veins! 🙂

      • Val Boyko says:

        The energy is shifting that’s for sure Eliza! Spring is connected to the wood element in Chinese Medicine. Wood is firm, stubborn, strong and rising! It will soon be time to channel this energy into planning, envisioning and bring it into being 🙏

  37. Cathy says:

    Loved this post Eliza, particularly the pictures of your garden in summer, and that lovely bee. 🙂 I hope it won’t be long now till you will start seeing green outside as well as inside. Wishing you lots of sunshine until then!

  38. Maria says:

    Great term I didn’t know existed, thanks for sharing. I’m addicted to gardening myself!

  39. Fabulous and bravo! All wonderful reasons I garden. And I did enjoy learning about the houseplants, as I consider add more.

  40. dorannrule says:

    I have biophilia…but cannot grow anything indoors. Even my plastic plants die. Fortunately we live next to a forest primeval. I need to be outside huh?

  41. Jane Lurie says:

    So true, Eliza. Beautifully said along with your terrific images. I am currently infatuated with my various succulents around our apartment. I seek out nature often for a cleanse. 🙂

  42. pbmgarden says:

    Well said Eliza. I used to have a lot of those houseplants you mentioned, but I found it was more enjoyable to let plants take care of themselves outdoors. Now I see the indoor plants were taking care of me. Great photos and BTW, I adore your header image. Stay well.

  43. naturebackin says:

    Sorry you have been under the weather. Glad you are feeling better and I hope the nature around you and the prospect of spring and being out in the garden play their healing role too.

  44. Robbie says:

    Great post-Eliza!!! You are so wise all the time, love to stop by and see what you share for I always learn something new:-)

  45. Robbie says:

    beautiful photos too:-)

  46. mamadsblog says:

    Thank you for writing this! I have been living 3 years without gardening and I can tell my mental wellbeing has suffered. Unfortunately my friends and husband do not take this seriously . Gardening and nature enjoyment is considered a hobby or a leisurely pastime instead of a necessity of good health.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      You’re welcome. I lived in suburban conditions for 19 years and felt starved the whole time, having to make do with tiny parks and window boxes, interspersed with short jaunts to the country. It is a real need and some are more awake to it than others. Luckily, now it is getting recognition and green therapies are becoming better known. Keep grounding yourself! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  47. Ali says:

    I didn’t know this term! I think of ‘blue and green therapy’; spending time outdoors especially.

  48. What incredible photos! Having worked in the legal biz for 87 years, if I didn’t have even a postage stamp sized garden, I’m sure I could have been easily arrested for doing harm to any one of the legal beagles whose work was strictly part of the non-living. There’s nothing more life sustaining than peat scented dirt under fingernails and a satisfaction of knowing your endeavors sustain the living. Thank you for swinging by the Ranch and for the follow. We 💗 visitors, especially those who share such amazing sites of nature.

  49. Wilson has some great ideas including rewilding half of the planet, I think! Yes, gardens do help restore us both mentally and physically but guess there is also something sacred about nature too.

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