Pickles believes the slower pace of 2020 gifted us with more time to think and breathe, making us more aware and more observant of what is around us.
Pickles’ theory may explain my orchid’s enthusiasm. Is she thriving because I’m talking to her, or simply because I am more attentive to her needs? With overwatering being one of the leading causes of death for houseplants, perhaps being home more has allowed me to notice, rather than to reach for the watering can in a hasty attempt to be a responsible plant parent.
Whether or not we believe that plants benefit from conversation, we cannot deny that something is in it for us. The therapeutic effects of plants and gardening have been widely documented – benefits include boosting our mood, sharpening our focus and lowering our stress levels.
But what if the idea of chatting to your plant-children feels like eccentric behaviour?
“If you look at the science, the vibrations, the biophilic connection and relationship building, then for me it is clear that spending time with plants is worthwhile,” He says. “For some that are talking, for some, it is playing music, it is just quietly having them with us as we work and relax.
kell agrees. She is reaping the benefits of her practice of caring for plants. “The routine of checking, dusting, rotating and watering my plants is meditative,” she says. “It has helped me remain calm and stay focused on the moment. There is also a sense of achievement when your plants flourish under your care. It’s so rewarding.”
As we edge into 2021, my orchid is still thriving. And because my fingers are not yet green, I can only attribute this to our daily interactions: the adoring looks, the greetings and check-ins, and the attention (both intentional and incidental). She listens in on my telephone conversations and is often my only audience for pre-dinner renditions of I Will Survive. She doesn’t join in, my orchid, but I think she’s feeling the love. I know I am.
This article is republished with the permission of Seetha Dodd. It first appeared in The Guardian on January 11, 2021.