The Power of Plants: Gardening + Ingenuity

Last week at Whole Foods, I picked up a special edition of Real Simple: The Power of Plants. Sitting outside on my patio, I started looking through the magazine. I am one of those people who reads equally online and in print. (Admittingly, I love my weekend WSJ, holding a good book, and the feel of a new magazine in my hands.) This issue of Real Simple, The Power of Plants, did not disappoint. I quickly started sending quotes from the magazine to the Gardenuity team and close friends. 

  • “It’s good to see green, just being around plants has surprising benefits.” (pp. 6)
  • “For sound mind and body, working the garden is good for you in many ways” (pp. 10)
  • “A place of community, becoming a grower fosters all kinds of connections” (pp. 12)
  • “A life force, coping with trauma became easier while working the soil.” (pp. 16)
  • “Perfectly imperfect, failures turned out to be a path to understanding.” (pp. 20)
  • “Garden tips for beginners, pointers to help you get started.” (pp. 50)
  • “Transforming your rooftop, how to work with limited outdoor space.” (pp. 86)
  • “Drink up, ready for some homegrown herbal tea.” (pp. 96)

The magazine reads like a Gardenuity playbook. Our mission is and has always been to make gardens and gardening experiences accessible to everyone – wherever they live, work, and play. Because gardening is so good for you – the power of plants, the benefits of connecting with soil, understanding where good food comes from, having a desktop plant where you work, the list goes on.

When I read “Chapter One” of Real Simple: The Power of Plants for the second time, I took a minute to reflect on the words.

“Having plants in your life can improve your mental and physical health, connect you to community, and even help sustain you in a moment of crisis,” and “scientists say that simply being around plants can bring joy and productivity.”

These words written by Naomi Barr are true, backed by research, science, and real life.

Gardening is enjoying its moment in the spotlight, both at home and at work. Chief HR leaders across the country are talking about employee wellness, saying goodbye to siloed wellness solutions, and saying hello to holistic programming that engages and supports the entire employee base. They are bringing benefits to their teams that address mental health, physical health, and the health of the planet. Conversations are going green, and we are honored to be part of these conversations.

The intersection between gardening and well-being is happening in real-time, and Gardenuity is at the epicenter. The benefits that come from the experience of nurturing nature are getting a lot of attention, and rightfully so. We at Gardenuity are not shy about sharing the data, the science, and the why behind it all. 

Study after study shows that plants make us happier. A 2021 study published in the journal Environmental Research found that houseplants were particularly effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Better yet, the research also showed that it doesn’t take a long time for plants to have this positive effect on us. Plants ease stress, improve productivity and make us feel better physically.

As we all know, what you eat directly impacts your health. Research shows that when we grow vegetables, we consume more vegetables. Conversations around “Food is Medicine” have moved from Capitol Hill to doctors’ offices to kitchen tables. Improving human health through nutrition is only part of why gardening is good, and it can be “as simple as a container garden of herbs on your rooftop or patio,” says Dr. Trivedi.

Across the country, we are feeling the signs of spring (despite the cold temperatures), and it begs the question, how can we be part of our own wellness journey? For me, it is important to embrace the season and the science. As it happens, sunshine and serotonin are natural mood boosters. Spring is a season when our spirits awaken, and everything feels fresh and possible. We become more alert, active, and imaginative. It’s the time of year we see plants emerge from their winter solstice, and with it, our optimism grows.

This spring season, I invite you to put your hands in the soil, get a little dirty, grow your favorite vegetables and herbs, and delight in the power of plants. And if you see the Real Simple Special Edition: The Power of Plants – pick it up, make yourself a cup of herbal tea, and enjoy the read.

Dzahmbov, A. M., Dimitrova, D. D. (2021). Does greenery experienced indoors and outdoors provide an escape and support mental health during the COVID-19 quarantine? Environmental Research 196.

Real Simple: The Power of Plants – February 24, 2023.