In the middle of winter, even in a temperate climate like Gainesville, we can start to miss the freshness of green grass and plants in our environment. There’s a way to bring that fresh feeling indoors, and that’s with indoor plants! There are several varieties that look beautiful, help to clean the indoor air of pollutants such as formaldehyde and benzene, and are also safe for children and pets. Although the air purification rate of plants may be too slow to make an immediate difference, every little bit helps, especially when they’re also making your space more beautiful.
Your local plant nursery or big box home improvement store is likely to have a selection on hand. Or you might have a friend who can share a plant that has been divided for size. Some popular varieties include pothos (often confused with philodendron, but equally easy care), English ivy, bamboo palm, peace lily, and an old favorite known as “mother in law’s tongue” or “snake plant”, a slender and elegant succulent that almost thrives on neglect, so forgetting to water it isn’t fatal. The plants just mentioned are also safer for children and pets. A very popular plant for making a home décor statement the last several years is the fiddle leaf fig which has a distinctive appearance, and a strong social media presence, but is pretty finicky and not as easy to care for as many other options.
Gainesville also offers many outdoor trails where you can enjoy walking, hiking, and trail biking. Florida is a virtual greenhouse of plant variety, and you’ll find many beautiful and unusual varieties of plant life to enjoy. The GW Homes community of Amariah Park offers outdoor amenities including walking trails so that you can have a relaxing and restorative outdoor experience right in your own backyard. The concept of being in nature having restorative properties is exemplified in the practice of “forest bathing”. “The practice began in Japan. Back in the early 1990s the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries coined the term Shinrin-yoku — which translates roughly as forest bathing.”It doesn’t involve a bathing suit, and it doesn’t even have to involve hiking. Rather, it is the relaxing state of being in an outdoor space that can boost our mood and even our immunity.
Gainesville’s central Florida location is home to an abundance of natural beauty, boasting a native tree canopy of over 40%, much higher than other major Florida cities. This allows for ready access to lush and interesting outdoor havens in which to experience the relaxation and revitalization that God’s creation in nature offers us.