Potted plants aren't mere decoration; they offer a rare opportunity to find joy by caring for another living being.
Summer Rayne Oakes keeps over 1,000 live houseplants spanning over 500 species in her Brooklyn apartment. She's an environmental scientist, an entrepreneur, and (according to a New York Times profile) the icon of wellness-minded millennials who want to bring nature indoors. She even installed a sub-irrigation system and helpful watering hacks, such as a 150-foot expandable hose that connects to pipes under her kitchen sink, so she only has to spend about a half-hour a day tending to her plants--an activity that she describes as a "moving meditation."
This isn't an interior design book about hanging ivy on your window sills. It's about the real reasons that it's good for you to bring plants inside. Most people think that the common potted plant is just a decorative object, but there's also a strong psychological benefit to taking care of plants as a path to mindfulness. Taking care of other living beings is a basic human need. Urban Millennials with weaker community networks than previous generations just don't have the chance to do that.
This book ties together all the known benefits of taking care of plants (lower blood pressure, lower stress, cleaner air) with a bigger, less obvious benefit: Taking care of plants makes you a more life-giving person. Through colorful vignettes that draw us into the mysteries and hidden stories of our plants, Summer Rayne shows how our chlorophyllous friends can serve as a gateway to a greater life.
Who doesn't want to cultivate beauty, care for the natural world, and live mindfully in these crazy times? Summer Rayne Oakes shows us the way.
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