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Episode 108: How to Use Plants to Create Restorative Environments with Anne Meore from NYBG


How to Use Plants to Create Restorative Environments



I recently took Intro to Horticultural Therapy at NYBG and Anne Meore, my teacher, joins me today to discuss the biggest lessons learned in class, review some studies we learned about on the science behind the plant/people connection and to discuss the concept and use of restorative spaces. As I “bloom and grow” as a plant parent and a business I am becoming more curious about the science behind the plant/person connection. The more I learn and read about plants as restorative instruments for human body and spirit, I’m realizing plants not only make people happy, but can help us heal faster and restore our brains to their natural state. We have never needed these tools MORE, especially after this year which has kept us all inside and glued to screens. Everyone can create a restorative environment in their own home, so Anne walks us through the components of a restorative space and then we brainstorm some awesome ways to create a restorative space even in our limited indoor environments.

I wanted to thank NYBG for letting me take Intro to Hort Therapy with Anne, our guest today. If you are NY based, NYBG is open and magical during the winter. Discover the peaceful winter beauty across NYBG’s 250 acre landscape, from the winding trails of their old-growth forest to their arboretum collections of historic trees and ornamental conifers and get cozy in their conservatory with every tropical plant you could imagine. It’s a really spirit lifter and restorative space for me, especially in the winter. Plus, the Holiday Train Show returns this year for Members only and is on view through January 31.

In this episode we learn:

  • Why Anne became a Horticultural Therapist
  • How 2020 has caused Maria and Anne to re-evaluate their priorities and plants have been instrumental
  • Using plants to cope with the trauma of Covid
  • Directed vs Involuntary attention
  • Directed attention and mental fatigue
  • What is mental fatigue and how does it negatively impact us
  • 4 Key Components of a restorative space: Being Away, Fascination, Extent and Compatibility, and what they mean
  • How simple views of nature can help: Views from a Window and Views to Nature: Effects on Attention
  • Attention Restoration Theory
  • How to create a restorative environment indoors

Mentioned in our conversation:



The Nature Fix

Forest Bathing


The Restorative Benefits of Nature: Toward an Integrative Framework, Kaplan

Restorative Effects of Natural Environment Experiences: Hartig, Man, Evans

A Walk in the Woods, Anna Lena Phillips

View from a Window, Ulrich

Healthy nature healthy people: ‘contact with nature' as an upstream health promotion intervention for populations, Maller, Townsend, Pryor, Brown, Leger

Views to Nature: Effects on Attention, Tennessen and Cimprich

14 Patterns of Biophilic Design

Thank you to our episode sponsor:

Modern Sprout: Modern Sprout is connecting people and plants with their fabulous lines of grow lights, hydroponic planters and all sorts of plant accessories that empower people to cultivate their own indoor oasis, whether you live in a studio apartment or a sprawling farmhouse, with simple, stylish and sustainable green-thumb solutions for every home. For 15% off your order, visit and use code 15bloom at checkout!


Follow Anne and NYBG

Anne's company: Planthropy

NYBG Main Website

NYBG Course Website

NYBG Horticultural Therapy Program


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