Starts With A Secret Garden
submitted by Sunnycrest
equal happiness. Study after study shows that
the presence of plants produces positive emotions
and improves focus. People around plants are
more upbeat, have more creative states of mind,
and have lower blood pressure. The presence
of plants in the workplace increases productivity
and reduces sick days. Research shows that 40
percent of all sick days are related to poor
indoor air quality. Simply put, we take in oxygen,
and give off carbon dioxide. Plants take in
carbon dioxide, and give off oxygen. It's a
match made in heaven.
can this really be true? Can the enchanting
world of horticulture really be the fastest
and easiest ticket to happiness? In a word,
yes. Plants give us what we need, but not only
on the lung level. Plants stimulate the senses.
We visually appreciate the aesthetic beauty
from how they look and we also enjoy their scents.
But it is more than that. The experience of
nature, the seeing and touching and observing
of plants seems to have a positive impact on
functional and cognitive abilities.
Nowhere is this more clear than with older people.
Studies indicate time and time again that plants
promote psychological and social well-being
of older people. Just having visual exposure
to plants is reported to create positive emotions
and calm down restless minds, enhancing emotional
But even better is the impact that plants have
when seniors engage in actual gardening. Caring
for plants provides seniors with reciprocal
relationships with both plants and other people.
Emotions, memories, thoughts, and conclusions
associated with plants and gardening resulted
in enhanced emotional, cognitive, and social
well-being in elderly living in long-term care.
Gardening also enables the senior to engage
in various roles according to their own will
and capabilities supporting their identity and
I have seen this first hand at Sunnycrest Senior
Living in Fullerton, CA. As the owner I am always
looking for new ways to promote the health and
happiness of my residents. So I recently created
"The Secret Garden." Located on the Western
side of our property directly adjacent to the
beautiful horse trail, our residents now garden
in the fresh air and with their hands in the
soil. The residents appear cheerful and happy.
I have heard of enhanced quality of sleep, increased
ability to concentrate, and more peace of mind.
you desire to improve your life by having stress
relief or wish to improve job performance, or
want to "go green" and save the planet, all
roads lead to the Garden. Maybe Adam and Eve
had it right all along.
- "The influence of a green environment and
horticulture activities on the subject well-being
of the elderly living in long-term care. University
of Helsinki 2005.
and Kaplan 1991.
- Browne 1992
- Stoneham and Jones 1997
- Carmen 2002
- Grahn and Stigsdotter 2003
and Kidd 2004
unauthorized duplication without written consent.