the Healing Powers of Plants aka Horticulture Therapy
As the Ides of March morphed into the decades of April/ May, my home began to take on a new, significant meaning.
With fewer activities calling me away, and honestly, at some point a borderline agoraphobia taking hold, I dropped into the quiet plant lives surrounding me, and sensed their nurturing, loving presence. Our leafy green family members only really require sunlight and some water, though if we are able to slow down and listen, there is a universe full of beauty inviting us to enter.
Since moving into our ground unit apartment 13 years ago, I've had the good fortune to plant annuals , watch perennials flourish and spend a good amount of time mucking about in our small backyard plot, and front door container garden. I've planted herbs, black currants, raspberries, lettuce, arugula, kale, tomatoes, as well as my favourite flowers such as wild rose, nasturtiums, sunflowers, elecampane and calendula. Considering we get only about 6 hours of direct sun in either, I'm grateful for what has been able to flourish.
This year, for the first time I have 2 volunteer cedar seedlings as well as a few saplings from our glorious golden smoke bush tree I planted the spring we moved in. I'm going to pot them before winter and bring them inside, as they have germinated into garden pots and may not have enough insulation to make it through winter.
I confess, until quarantine, I hadn't extended my love of my outdoor gardening towards our indoor plant fam. They were there, adding to the freshness and life inside our walls. They were absorbing the banging, slamming, bouncing energy of our active, stir crazed teenage son. At some point, when I had slowed down enough to hear them, I was able to appreciate their existence fully.
In a Treehugger article I found online ( 5 Benefits of Houseplants, August 29, 2019) the author, Melissa Breyer says amongst other things they assist in cleaning the air, reduce recovery time after medical procedures, and improve concentration. Now, I have no evidence to back up these claims, but can't hurt to try!
As I have more time on my hands these days, along with my newfound gratitude to these chloro-beauty-phylled beings, I've decided to try my hand at taking stem cuttings of a few of them. Today, I placed 4 in glasses of water to grow roots. Once the roots have developed, my plan is to pot them in plastic free, biodegradable pots made by local environmental company, Hey Jute. I am searching for organic potting soil best suited to each plant.
I'll see how this goes, play it by ear. I figure it's a low risk cottage business that in the worst case scenario will provide me with more plants to share and live with, so really can't go wrong either way!
If you are in Toronto, and would like to welcome one of these babes into your home, or gift to another, please connect through my email. I also have the little tree saplings available if you are interested.
from top left moving clockwise- Golden Pothos , Jade, Tradescantia, Patchouli leaf cuttings