Joy & Gardening

woman with a hat on gardening and smiling
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As we settle into our “do everything-from-home” lifestyle, most of us find ourselves in unusual territory as we spend more time being homebound. And with summer approaching, our summer plans remain at a standstill. So here we are, staying at home, searching for something to do, a new ambition. 

Sounds like the perfect time to get out and GARDEN! (Or at least plant something in your home!)

graph about the health benefits of gardening

“Gardens Add Years to Your Life and Life to Your Years” 

~ Unknown.

Many studies have shown that caring for houseplants or starting a home garden can be beneficial to our physical, environmental, and mental health. They say that gardening has been linked to:

• a decrease in depression, anxiety, and body mass index

• an increase in quality of life, life satisfaction, and a sense of community

In essence, working in a garden can be a remedy to our sedentary, demanding, tech-driven lifestyles. Even if you’re limited in space or short on time, gardening can make a positive impact on your health.

Where to Even Begin?

Starting an herb garden is a great way to begin (or expand) your gardening knowledge. Growing an array of homegrown herbs is brilliantly simple to maintain. It also provides a little exercise, sunshine, and a generous harvest of fresh herbs when cooking. Basil, cilantro, oregano, and parsley are some of the easiest plants to grow. When planting fresh herbs, be sure to choose ones from the same “terrior”, those with similar flavors that can grow in the same soil, with the same degree of sunlight. Herbs are so versatile that you can plant them just about anywhere– a raised garden bed outdoors, a small planter on the porch, or even mason jars.
I especially love growing herbs in indoor pots because I have more control over their growing conditions. Plus, it gives me easy access to my favorite kitchen ingredients. 

a hand holding a small pot of cilantro

Growing fresh herbs can be incredibly rewarding as you come to enjoy their beauty and nutritious flavors. So give it a try! They will provide you clean and flavorful ingredients to spice up your favorite dishes, and you will benefit from a variety of their vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

The Hidden Perks of House Plants

When you add indoor house plants to your home, you aren’t just bringing in some greenery. These living matters can have a significant impact on your home, body, and mind.

Indoor plants can certainly enhance your quality of life:

• Plants improve air quality by reducing carbon dioxide levels, keeping air temperatures down, and releasing humidity and certain pollutants.

• Plants are natural humidifiers. Plants go through a process called transpiration, where the leaves release sweat, which adds moisture to the air.

• Plants are a natural mood booster and can significantly improve your mental health. Caring for another living thing can give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

People who care for plants in their homes or outdoors tend to be less stressed, as the nurturing aspect of caring for plants produces a calming effect. This is one of the many reasons why horticultural therapy is being embraced by numerous nursing homes, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers as a healing practice. 

plants with a sign saying clean the air with indoor plants

“The Grass is Always Greener Where You Water It” 

~Neil Barringham

So you’ve purchased your plants. Now how do you keep them alive? This is one of the biggest concerns plant owners have when starting out. 

With house plants, we either “kill them with kindness” by overwatering them, or we leave them alone too long, and they eventually dry out. If you love the idea of being a plant lover and furnishing your home with luscious, living plants, here are some tips for keeping your plants thriving. 

Get to Know Your Plant

Paying attention to your plant’s coloring, soil dampness, new blossoms, the amount of new growth, and leaf appearance will help you know how to nurture them.

Stay Consistent with Watering

Houseplants can not survive in extreme wetness or extreme dryness. When starting your outdoor garden or planting your indoor pots, be sure to water every day (especially in the summer heat) and check the topsoil for consistent moisture. Start a routine and schedule your watering days during the week. This will help establish the roots and ensure a plant’s long, healthy life. 

Allow Your Plants to Drain

Draining your plants is just as important as watering them, just like your own body. 

Ideally, purchase pots with holes at the bottom to obtain proper drainage when watering. But even with the absence of drainage holes, you can still grow a healthy plant with a few helpful tools. Joanna Gaines of Magnolia provides a beautiful step-by-step instruction on How to Plant a Pot Without Drainage Holes.

Whether you aspire to create a peaceful, plant-filled living space, or prepare a flavorful meal with fresh herbs–ultimately, gardening can give you a tremendous sense of accomplishment. And in these uncertain times, we can all use some inspiration to elevate our daily routines. So stay safe, stay healthy, and get out and grow your garden!

woman with a hat on gardening and smiling

Here are some of our favorite recommendations where you can buy plants, pots, and soil in the Bay Area!

@sloatgardens, @floragrubbgardens, @thesucculence @colehardware

Make sure to let us know if you plant something in your home or your own garden! We’d love to see! Tag @anjaleecatering on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to show us what you created.

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Meet Chef
Anja Lee

  • Founder of Anja Lee & Company, Anja Lee Catering and Silicon Chef (our company arm of Team-Building Cooking Competitions)
  • Food Network's Supermarket Stakeout CHAMPION! Season 4, Episode 13
  • Competitor in the Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen
  • Chef for the Golden State Warriors & Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Cookbook author of 2 Cookbooks
  • World traveling culinary artist and master cooking & wine tasting instructor

Anja brings an appreciation for great food and cooking that will keep your team entertained from beginning to end!

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