Plant therapy

By Joanne Mohan

Gardening is a lovely hobby that offers a mix of both active and passive engagement. The physical activity involved in gardening provides exercise, fresh air, and a connection with nature. Gardens offer a peaceful environment that can transport your mind to another place. Gardening can also provide a sense of accomplishment through small tasks such as watering, attracting pollinators, weeding, watching growth, and enjoying edibles such as herbs and vegetables. Enjoying the process of planting and cultivating a container can be a fulfilling experience, and the sight of blooming flowers and herbs can be a source of passive admiration.

Plants hung upside down to dry.

When we dig in the soil, it releases a unique and earthy aroma known as geosmin, which is produced by a type of soil bacteria called actinomycetes. This scent is known to have a positive effect on most humans, as it has therapeutic properties such as regulating the immune system and stabilizing serotonin levels, which can improve mood, feelings, and overall happiness. 

Gardening is a wonderful way to connect with nature and experience the therapeutic benefits of plants and soil. It provides a peaceful and relaxing space to retreat when life gets too demanding. For children, especially, gardening can be an invaluable hobby that they can carry with them throughout their lives. It can offer a quiet and calming space where they can escape from the stresses of daily life, connecting with nature versus their screens.

Even if you don’t have access to a garden, planting a few containers with select plants can still bring a touch of nature into your life. For example, planting some gladiolas and lavender on your patio, deck, step, or balcony can create a beautiful and fragrant oasis that will attract hummingbirds and other wildlife, providing a lovely connection with the natural world.

Our gardens can be sources of food, art, crafts, and resiliency. We can grow an Elderberry shrub, harvest the flowers in May for Elderberry cordial, harvest the berries in Fall for Syrup, and also provide a source of food and shelter for birds and other pollinators. Many of the flowers in our gardens can pressed to offer creativity in petal art, dried for tea, and used as oils in cream making.

Join Parklane Living in Orillia for a journey of discovery through classes in petal art, climate-resilient gardens, making a tea garden, and creating your cream. Learn which plants to grow, how to harvest and collect them, and uncover the endless purposeful uses that our plants and gardens can offer. Let us help you unlock the beauty and potential of nature!   

Register at: