I was out to lunch with a friend last week. We were sharing a pizza and chatting about this and that. He had commented that his girlfriend had purchased a rock with a smiley face on it, he was baffled at why she would do that. “Maybe it just makes her happy to look at it and be with it” was my response.
But it got me thinking, why, why do certain things make us so happy.
So I don’t know about anybody else but I know about me. Plants, its plants that make me super happy. I like to look at them, I like to be around them and i like to propagate and grow them.
If I don’t try and analyse and just speak from the heart its because they make me happy. Way back when i was a youngster I always had plants. My first plant was a Monstera his name was Cedric. I kept him in bedroom just in the corner close to the window but not in direct sun, well considering I grew up in a terraced house in the north of England there was little if any direct sunlight through my bedroom window.
I also remember growing an aspidistra from a bulb that sat on the fireplace in my first flat in the Midlands. It’s something that just feels right for me to do. Some of us are born to build things, to play an instrument, to sing. In my case it is to grow plants.
If I get technical about it, plants in our environment, naturally reduce levels of carbon dioxide, they increase humidity which aids in the reduction of illness. Eliminate dust particles and of course increase our intake of oxygen which in turn transfers to our blood stream increasing concentration and combating fatigue.
Plants reduce levels of pollutants, benzene, nitrogen and volatile organic compounds all cancer causing substances.
Studies show that plants in the work environment reduce tension and anxiety, decrease fatigue. Reports came back that fewer coughs and colds had been reported, fewer staff struggled with headaches in fact it was reported that sickness had fallen by a massive 60%.
And finally plants located in hospital wards showed patients requested less pain relief, had lower blood pressure and heart rates, less fatigue and anxiety and in fact were able to be discharged sooner.
I wake in the morning and go straight outside into my garden.
I like to go out and say good morning, make sure they are all OK. Trim any spent flowers. Give them a drink and get a sense of what needs to be done. Sometimes it’s just rake up the leaves that blow in from the messy Queensland box tree on my verge.
Other days I need to add some soil wetter as our soil is just so hydrophobic (I love that word) in basic 101 the soil doesn't like water. Other days I am moving baby plants into teenager pots or mowing lawns, or propagating.
So why do I garden? ... because I just bloody love it, that's why.