Small balconies, narrow galleries and window sills that we never used to open have become our garden on to the world. Since outdoor life has been downsized, plants and flowers have become our domestic allies for feeling good, regenerating and relaxing.
Anyone who has tried to create a green corner in their home, even only to observe it or to take care of plants and engage in small gardening chores, has experienced at least some of the benefits of a healing garden.
This is an outdoor or indoor green space specifically designed to improve our health and well-being, the benefits of which can be achieved through mere observation or through activities such as gardening and rehabilitation therapy. These spaces are usually created within healthcare facilities and are dedicated to patients, medical staff and family members.
The space has many functions, but one is common to all who visit it: to reduce stress. Whether it is a garden or a flower balcony, sight is the first sense to be activated: the colours of the flowers catch the eye and have a revitalising effect. As in a sensory experience, all our senses are awakened. The wind can create a pleasant rustling in the leaves that reminds us of the sounds of a park or the woods, the leaves themselves or the petals, reveal their texture when we touch them.
Then the sense of smell: it is the scent of plants and flowers that most inebriates us, because our nose sends the stimuli it receives directly to the part of the brain that oversees memory and emotions. Some plants can really change our (experience of) everyday life at home, we just need to know how to choose the most powerful and evocative essences for our balconies and windowsills, and let ourselves be transported to faraway places through our imagination.
Preview image: photo Garrett Bear on Unsplash