The idiom “cabin fever” perfectly describes that claustrophobic feeling we have after months indoors peering out the windows over the frozen tundra. We long for the color green and the aroma and feel of soil as the earthy canvas for renewal. I have read studies that claim soil has natural anti-depressant qualities and I be-”leaf” it.
I recently read the Garden Media Group Garden Trends report stating “Forest bathing” is the medicine of being in the forest and is today where yoga was 30 years ago. Research continues to tell us that time spent in nature reduces stress and increases well being. From the practice of using living plants to “soundscape” our landscapes (buffering noise) to the simple benefit of a shade tree providing a sunscreen equivalent to SPF 10, we instinctively understand the benefits of nature.
I remember in the 70’s the houseplant and indoor foliage craze and that too has found a resurgence of sorts. Today two things drive the resurgence. One is the array of options for indoor plants from succulents to tillandsias, citrus to herbs and trendy foliage like fiddle leaf figs. The second thing driving the resurgence is the tech savvy Millennials (18-34). Five million of the six million ‘new’ gardeners last year were 18-34 year olds, according to the 2016 National Gardening Report. These tech savvy millennials will “naturally” make gardening a 365 day-a-year activity via indoor lighting, apps, lifestyle and indoor growing techniques. This attitude carries over to the workplace where ROI is replaced by ROV (return on value) understanding that plants create happier and healthier workers.
An understanding has “seeded” in the minds of Americans that finding joy in less is part of a downsizing trend to gardening in smaller spaces. Keeping what you need or love and what loves your garden and de-cluttering the rest. Creating boundaries and defining spaces.
Beat that cabin fever and get “wealthy” by adding some plants to your indoor living space and going for a forest bathing walk in the woods. March is a great month to “turn over a new leaf”.