There’s a lot of truth to the old adage that “fresh air is good for the soul,” and there’s no better way to get your fresh air fix than by tending plants. Gardens are a place of sanctuary, where you can say goodbye to stress and replace it with a sense of peace and calm. You don’t even have to be a particularly skilled gardener to reap the benefits—even the blackest thumbs can enjoy the feeling of fresh soil on bare hands.
In fact, merely being in the presence of plants is naturally calming. Over the millennia, we’ve evolved around the lush greenery that grows in the same conditions we need to survive. Our subconscious brains see leaves, flowers, and water as signs that we’re going to be okay. Why not embrace that feeling with a little garden therapy?
Creating Soothing Outdoor Spaces
For a space to be relaxing, it needs to make us feel like we have everything we need. Generally, that involves lots of greenery of different heights. Tall greenery, like shrubs, trees, and climbing vines, give us a sense of safety by making our yards feel nice and private. When the weather gets warmer, I love Mandevilla, Bougainvillea, and Dipladenia for covering fences and other tall structures, as it produces the most incredible display of lush foliage and vibrant flowers. These climbers are tropicals that won’t stick around for next year, but they make spectacular annuals for summertime.
As the eye travels downward, we love an assortment of flowers and edible plants. Flowers stimulate our sense of sight and smell, while herbs and vegetable signal that we’ve got lots of healthy food at the ready.
If you’re not ready for a full-fledged vegetable or flower garden, an herb garden is a great starting point for beginners. Try planting containers of your favorites, like basil, mint, rosemary, sage, chives, coriander, and dill. If you have some sunny outdoor garden space available to you, try planting some soothing, fragrant lavender plants!
Furnishings and decor, like patio sectionals and hammocks, are the final touches for a relaxing outdoor space. It’s always better to invest in better-quality outdoor furniture that you love than to go for the cheap stuff. Outdoor conditions are hard on all materials, which means lower-end furnishings will need to replaced and repaired often. Save yourself the trouble and go for the stuff you really want—it’ll last longer and save you money in the long run!
The Healing Power of Water
Water features are the crown jewel of a therapeutic garden. We’re wired to instantly relax when we hear gently flowing water, which mimics the sound of the rivers and streams we’ve relied on since the dawn of time. If you have one, it’s probably your favourite part of your yard!
If you’re eager to open your pond for the year, we carry plenty of water feature maintenance products to get your pond clean, clear, and crisp for the season.
Of course, not all of us have the luxury (or responsibility—however you look at it!) of a yard. If that describes you, you can still enjoy the benefits of garden therapy indoors!
Many houseplants, like Boston Ferns, Spider Plants, Chinese Evergreens, Dracaena Colorama, and other tropical plants act as excellent natural air purifiers. Aloe Vera’s spiky, chunky leaves add pleasing visual contrast against finer foliage plants, while some houseplants like Dwarf Citrus let you grow edible fruit with nothing more than a pot, a bag of soil, some fertilizer, and a sunny balcony.
Using hanging baskets, cute pots, plant stands, and creative styling techniques, you can mimic all the height and colour variations of an outdoor garden. Even a single plant in each room of your home will make an astounding difference in your mood!
Ready to get your hands dirty? You can get lots of inspiration by browsing through our new online shop! Everything you see inside is available for pickup at Royal City Nursery, with options for delivery service on certain minimum orders. Namaste!