Indoor gardens, patio planters and flower beds in balconies have been the hottest trend in the lockdown era for they provide a respite and a chance to involve yourself in a mindful activity. Plants and tending to them is a therapy, it is mentally unwinding and de-stressing. And millennials have made it A Thing. It’s a beautiful feeling to come back home to gaze and tend to your garden, whether it’s in a balcony or just a nook of a room on some old furniture. Plants reduce anxiety and have a calming effect. Research shows that horticulture therapy helps old people struggling from dementia or people with depression or addiction.

Since many of us these days live in apartments and space is less, there are various ways to set up a small garden. It could be your bedroom’s window sill or a corner of your kitchen. Growing herbs such as coriander, dill, etc, could be used to flavour your cookouts. It’s fresh, convenient and using your hands in the mud helps to iron out worries, a rewarding feeling when you reap the fruits of your labour.

A typical urban apartment has the choice of getting customised balcony gardens these days with professionals to lend an aesthetic air based on the space, light, personal taste and exposure. Terracotta pots could be heavy, so lighter pots made of fibreglass or rice pots are being used by many. Therapeutic gardens are becoming popular, particularity in special needs settings such as care facilities for the elderly or hospitals for engaging in activities such as watering or getting your hands dirty in the mud.

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“Nature heals, there was this story of the last leaf when this girl was sick and the artist drew a leaf and she survived thinking that the leaf is still there despite the stormy night. such is the power of nature. A green space helps us to relax, a cup of tea in your own small balcony garden is a great stress buster. Even hugging a tree gives you a sense of belonging and we humans are naturally born to have a symbiotic relationship with nature,” says Vinaya Prabha Baligar, a PhD holder and psychotherapist. Where there is space there could be an indoor garden, it’s about being imaginative – shelves, ceiling top or anywhere.

Mixing foliage, putting a citrus bonsai in a corner if you are rethinking the décor, will make things interesting. Dr Hemamalini Lakshman, former Mrs India Universe, whose roof garden has been awarded the best outstanding garden prize for eight consecutive years says, “Roof-top gardens are your own private getaways, and are coming more into the spotlight during this pandemic.

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