Thursday, 3 February 2011

Gardening in Winter? Grow Green Stuff & Feel Less Stressed

It is winter, we just had a snow day and it is freezing cold. I am feeling the winter blues – for me, especially I miss the flowers and plants during the winter months. Hence, one of my favorite places is the Allan Gardens Conservatory at Gerrard & Jarvis. It has lots of green “stuff” in its 6 greenhouses; lovely displays of plants and flowers from around the world. Just visiting there once in a while helps me through the winter blues.

Does this mean having plants actually helps with psychological and physical well-being? I found this interesting article Green Plant Benefits from Green Plants for Green Buildings website that mentions studies showing that human beings are less stressed and more creative when plants are present in our environment. It also outlines the physical benefits of having plants.

So the more plants in winter you grow, the better? I am all for it, but the challenge for growing plants in winter in our northern cold climate is to provide shelter, light and warmth and to make it cost effective. Natural light versus artificial? Capital costs versus maintenance? Vegetation or vegetables?

As a design and build construction company these questions present interesting choices and we are looking at possible solutions, such as living walls for incorporation into our designs. Light pipes that bring daylight into areas with limited windows can also be used to help plants grow. The technology is here, we just need to use it in an innovative fashion. We would like to elevate plants from a nice-to-have to an essential part of the home and we will promote the use of plants to our clients.

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

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