Do you have a Green Thumb?

By Lobsang Dolma ’18

Photographed by Lobsang Dolma '18
Photographed by Lobsang Dolma ’18

As we head into the colder seasons, it becomes more difficult to keep our spirits up. Midterms get closer, the day turns into night faster, and all life withers as the orange leaves fall around us. In such a scenario where we are imprisoned by our environment, there is little that brings back color into our bland world. For me, something that makes me feel better lifts me up is walking in a room with potted plants and fresh flowers. They brighten up my room and day.

Gardening is time-consuming, but you can reap the benefits by tenfold. In fact, gardening has many metal advantages. Just thirty minutes of gardening has been proven to reduce the level of cortisol, a stress hormone. Additionally, daily gardening is the best risk reduction for dementia with experiments showing risk reduction rates varying from 36% to 47%. Gardening can be especially helpful to teenagers as horticultural therapy is a growing field in mental health treatments. It is used to help people with anxiety, depression, and post-surgery recovery. It might just be the idea that by gardening you are responsible for and surrounding yourself with other lives, but it has proven benefits that make it worthwhile.

Since we live in New York gardening may not seem like an option for most of us, however keeping potted plants in our rooms is the second best thing. Not only do they reduce the carbon dioxide levels, but they also are proven to improve health. According to researchers at Kansas State University, patients in rooms with plants requested less pain medication than patients in rooms without plants. A study at The Royal College of Agriculture in Cirencester, England, found that students demonstrate 70 percent greater attentiveness when they’re taught in rooms containing plants. In the same study, attendance was also higher for lectures given in classrooms with plants.”

Planting may appear to be complicated and tiresome, so here are a few simple steps you can do to start your green journey.
-First, choose the right pot. Make sure to pick a pot with holes on the bottom to allow for the extra water to seep through. You might also want to get a drainage plate so the water won’t leak on any furniture. If you are not planting potted plants, you can skip this step.
-Choose the right soil with organic materials and add some fertilizer.
-Choose the type of plant you want to take care of. Take into consideration the amount of sunlight required and the amount of total size growth. Remember that each plant is different so get your information before making a choice.

Shelby Chan ’18 said, “I agree completely that gardening is very helpful, not just to the environment but to yourself too. You can let all your stress out and I think it provides a way to make you relax while benefiting the community.”

At first, planting may insinuate to be just another thing to worry about, but it can be life changing. Not only is planting good for the environment, but it is also good for our health and future. Just remember to be dedicated to what you do and be excited to start something new. It is an experiment of your own and you might learn to love the art of gardening.

“My grandma and I usually garden together and it is actually really relaxing. Even though we live in New York City, it’s still easy for us to grow stuff in our backyards or in pots inside the house. It’s incredibly fun and helps take stressful things off my mind. Plus, I get to bond with my grandma as we garden together,” noted by Cassandra Zhen ’18.

Inspirational Quote: “The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.”- Alfred Austin

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