My aim in writing this book is to give houseplants a voice. Yellow, brown, droopy or crispy leaves can be part of the normal life-cycle of a plant – or a cry for help. But all too often we misread these signs or we don’t take time to understand them. An unhappy plant can be a great teacher, but only if you take the time to listen. Throwing a plant away because it no longer looks perfect is a quick and easy option, but in doing so you are just perpetuating the cycle of buying and killing plants; understand the symptoms and you’ll break the cycle.


Modern life isn’t conducive to good mental health. There has never been greater pressure to be superhuman. Stress and anxiety are a reaction to feeling pulled in all directions and are exacerbated by not having the time to invest in self care. Slowing down, stripping out the ‘noise’ of daily life and simply focusing on nurturing a plant can help to give our tired brains a much needed rest and has a renewing effect on our physical and mental wellbeing. 

Growing plants, indoors or outdoors, forces us to slow down and be in the moment. Plants grow slowly, they can’t be hurried, they don’t inhabit our hectic world, they represent a slower pace of life. Focusing our attention on plants feels like taking a long, deep breath and can help to reset a stressed, anxious, exhausted mind.



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