Potted plants aren't mere decoration; they offer a rare opportunity to find joy by caring for another living being.
Summer Rayne Oakes keeps over 1,000 live houseplants spanning over 500 species in her Brooklyn apartment. She's an environmental scientist, an entrepreneur, and (according to a New York Times profile) the icon of wellness-minded millennials who want to bring nature indoors. She even installed a sub-irrigation system and helpful watering hacks, such as a 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 isn't an interior design book about hanging ivy on your window sills. It's about the real reasons that it's good for you to bring plants inside. Most people think that the common potted plant is just a decorative object, but there's also a strong psychological benefit to taking care of plants as a path to mindfulness. Taking care of other living beings is a basic human need. Urban millennials with weaker community networks than previous generations just don't have the chance to do that.
This book ties together all the known benefits of taking care of plants (lower blood pressure, lower stress, cleaner air) with a bigger, less obvious benefit: Taking care of plants makes you a more life-giving person. Through colorful vignettes that draw us into the mysteries and hidden stories of our plants, Summer Rayne shows how our chlorophyllous friends can serve as a gateway to a greater life.
Who doesn't want to cultivate beauty, care for the natural world, and live mindfully in these crazy times? Summer Rayne Oakes shows us the way.
"In her book, Summer Rayne will upend so much more than your approach to plant care. You’ll learn how to better care for and treat people - starting with yourself. Highly recommended for anyone who struggles with the emptiness of modern living." (Hannah Bronfman, author of Do What Feels Good)
"I don’t care what color your thumbs are - Summer Rayne Oakes will not only inspire you to connect with nature by taking care of plants but open your eyes to how even the humblest of them takes care of us." (Michael Brune, executive director, Sierra Club)
“A beautiful, deeply researched celebration of the power that plants have to change our lives. In this compelling book, Summer Rayne Oakes invites us into a greener, more connected world, and gives us the tools to cultivate an unbreakable bond with nature, wherever we are.” (Ingrid Fetell Lee, author of Joyful and founder of The Aesthetics of Joy)