So many times over the last few weeks, we’ve heard how families are spending time in their yards, on urban balconies, and walking around their neighborhoods enjoying the peace and solace of nature and gardens. Be it vegetable, decorative, flowering, formal or chaotic, gardens can bring us solace. They know no age limit and can spark multigenerational conversations as parents and grandparents share knowledge with younger generations about the discoveries of nature. In our increasingly technology-driven world, making connections with nature through a garden can have a huge impact on mental health. Studies have found that spending time in green spaces helps people to destress and relax. Additionally, embracing the responsibility of keeping plants healthy can improve self-esteem and confidence, and make us feel more in control, even when the world is chaotic and out of control.
Instead of worrying about the stresses we as a global world are facing right now, being in the garden can help us focus our attention on other things, whether that’s planting, weeding, or harvesting, it gives our minds a break from those things that might be getting us down. Anxiety intensifies when we focus too much on the past or worrying about the future. Being immersed in the cycles of nature, from the plants that surround us to the birds, butterflies, and other creatures that make the space home, helps us to appreciate the everyday beauty in the world and focus on the ‘now’.
Different plant species flower at different times, and birds, bees and butterflies come and go. But what if you don’t understand which plants can provide the sensory input that makes a garden magical? We invite you to check out the free plant database at www.playcore.com/plants. You can choose plants by zone, but also by play value attributes like flowering, scented, edible, bird, bee, or butterfly attractant and so much more! Add plants to “My Collection” The download your collection for a full page PDF on each plant. Can’t get to the nursery to buy plants? Use the PDFs to test your knowledge or play identification games, there are all kinds of fun facts about each plant you can share with your friends and family!