My guest is Summer Rayne Oakes. Her new book is How to Make a Plant Love You: Cultivate Green Space in Your Home and Heart. She's an urban houseplant expert and environmental scientist, is the icon of wellness-minded millennials who want to bring nature indoors, according to a New York Times profile. Summer has managed to grow 1,000 houseplants in her Brooklyn apartment (and they're thriving!) Her secret? She approaches her relationships with plants as intentionally as if they were people.
Everyone deserves to feel the inner peace that comes from taking care of greenery. Beyond the obvious benefits--beauty and cleaner air--there's a strong psychological benefit to nurturing plants as a path to mindfulness. They can reduce our stress level, lower our blood pressure, and improve our overall outlook. And they offer a rare opportunity to find joy by caring for another living being.
When Summer Rayne Oakes moved to Brooklyn from the Pennsylvania countryside, she knew that bringing nature indoors was her only chance to stay sane. She found them by the side of the road, in long-forgotten window boxes, at farmers' markets, and in local garden shops. She found ways to shelve, hang, tuck, anchor, secure, and suspend them. She even installed 150-foot expandable hose that connects to pipes under her kitchen sink, so she only has to spend about a half-hour a day tending to her plants--an activity that she describes as a "moving meditation."
This is Summer's guidebook for cultivating an entirely new relationship with your plant children.