A Little Bit of Green to Beat the Blues

by Garreth Myers

If you aren’t working on your computer/laptop, you are texting friends to meet up with. If you aren’t eating your breakfast and reading the newspaper, you are rushing to work or racing home in time for your favorite sitcom. Wherever we are and whatever it is we do, there is always a constant need to keep busy and get the most from every minute of every day. So although your boss may not pressurize you about work and even though you hang out with friends every Friday night, you are still anxious and stressed about making it big!

"Gardeners, I think, dream bigger dreams than Emperor's", said Mary Cantwell. And so, if it is a ‘big idea’ you are in search of or just a little bit of happiness you seek, then engaging yourself in gardening can help you immensely. A study conducted in a Chicago public housing development indicated that women who lived in apartment buildings with greener surroundings were better able to deal with major life issues than those who lived in an identical building but in barren surroundings. The visual complexity of our modern world overwhelms our senses, causing stress and anxiety. Surroundings with plants are less complex and therefore reduce our feelings of stress. In another study focusing on the influence of visual contact with plants on psychological and physiological well-being, conducted by Ulrich, R.S. and R. Parsons in 1992, it was indicated that college students who were under stress from an exam, felt relaxed and experienced reduced fear and anger after looking at plants.

When starting your own little garden, you need to first select a location/site; preferably one that gets sufficient amount of sunlight and air. The next is to find the right kind of soil for your plants. You can have the fertilized soil tested at a local nursery. The most interesting and also the most crucial part of gardening, is choosing the plants. Some of the indoor plants that you can grow easily are:

  • English Ivy – This beautiful vine plant with dark green, variegated leaves improves the aesthetics of your room, making it look quite sophisticated. Have the ivy pot placed on a mantel or a shelf as its stems trail up to 6 feet or more.
  • Corn Plant – Growing tall and narrow even in ambient lighting, the corn plant is an easy-care houseplant. It has beautiful dark green leaves with a lime-green stripe running down the middle. Keep the plant away from direct sun and drafts, as its leaves will dry out and turn brown.   
  • Boston Fern – This decorative plant gives your room a classic feel and is extremely easy to care for. A little tip, once in a while, use a water-soluble houseplant food to keep the soil fertilized.
Being surrounded by plants and just watching the flowers swaying in the breeze, can transport you to a land of imagination, distinctly different from the one you inhabit. There is a sense of escape from the familiar concrete locales to the fascinating unknown when tending to plants. As Rosenfield said in his 1992 work about the role of horticulture in human well-being and social development, “When we ‘come home' to nature, we rediscover our own nature." When children between 7-12 years, suffering from ADHD, were taken on a guided walk in the park, they could concentrate better than children who went for a walk downtown in the city. Plants, therefore, don’t just purify the air we breathe; they also heal us physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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