Horticultural Therapy

Horticultural Therapy

How do you deal with stress? Try gardening.
How do you deal with stress?

Overall, I try to keep myself centered and at peace most of the time, but like many people, stress and anxiety can creep in on me before I know it.

But I’ve discovered that the fastest way to improve my mood (besides coconut doughnuts) is to get gardening, either indoors or out. There have been many studies from around the globe that prove that being around plants is a proven method of building your mood and improving overall health. But, even when I was a kid, I knew that if I spent time in the garden I would somehow feel better.

That’s why it’s really hard not to be cheerful once spring arrives. After all, everything is popping back to life in the landscape (it’s like seeing old friends again) and the garden centers shimmer with rainbows of multi colored flowers, all begging to be taken home.

Plus, even houseplants  are starting to surge because they can sense it’s spring and after a long, dark winter, and start pushing out fresh new growth, too.

And maybe I live in a plant-loving bubble, but all of my friends get super excited when new plant shipments show up at the garden center. Each one of us letting the others know when a special plant shows up or if there’s a sale at a particular location. It’s exciting, fun, and a natural way to keep the blues away.

Of course, I do have some favorite plants that always brighten my day. Tropical hibiscus, for example, are on the top of my list. These big, bold bloomers are ideal for containers or the landscape and come in such an abundance of colors they go with everything. Mandevilla is another favorite. I love how they can climb or scramble so effortlessly, each one sporting brilliant trumpet-shape flowers that seem to dance in the wind. 

Other outdoor plants that cheer me up include: baptisia, Asiatic lily, pansy, annual geranium, zinnia, marigold, clematis, annual salvia, heuchera, confederate jasmine, hosta, coleus, lamb’s ears, coneflower, and rosemary.

Top indoor plants for me include: snake plant, rex begonia, philodendron, pothos, ponytail palm, lucky bamboo, croton, and succulents of all types.

So, the next time you’re feeling down I prescribe a trip to your local garden center for a generous dose of horticultural therapy!


Written by Doug Jimerson