“Our relationship with plants has been re-established as a crucial part of our lives, and now that we’ve brought them into our homes and experienced the health and wellbeing benefits first-hand, we won’t be giving them up any time soon,” says University of Western Sydney biophilia and pedagogy academic, Professor Tonia Gray.
Studies show that time spent in nature and the outdoors can lower stress, improve your immune system, optimise mental alertness, wellbeing, and productivity.
“You can reap the benefits of nature simply by getting outdoors and into the garden, which has been proven to lower our stress levels and even bring about social benefits. If that’s not possible, bringing plants indoors is restorative as it promotes relaxation and creativity.”
In addition to the survey, the company also consulted with nursery industry experts, academics and interior stylists to forecast five major trends we’re likely to see this year.
The first – “greening where we work” – comes as no surprise, as many of us continue to work from home. According to Dr Hes, just one plant is enough to get those feel-good chemicals flowing, but more is definitely better. She suggests clustering small plants in the corner of your workspace or using a windowsill to free up precious desk space.
“You can also try adding a series of shelves to the wall and filling [them] with trailing plants. Look at them throughout the workday for an instant creativity boost.”
Other predictions include a rise in integrating plants into our wellness routines, an increase in growing our own edibles and food and “plantertaining”, which involves putting our best plants forward through recipes and styling when entertaining at home.
The final trend – encouraging children to learn more about nature – has a twofold positive effect on children and parents.
“When kids learn amongst natural environments such as the garden or a leafy park, it encourages self-regulation through risk-taking, resilience, experimentation, mastery and self-discovery, which can be both empowering and liberating for a child. Likewise, for adults, there are many benefits too: increase in productivity and creativity, improved wellbeing and reduction in stress, for instance.”
Regardless of whether it’s starting a small herb garden on the balcony or going for a bushwalk, make sure you pencil in some green-time this weekend.