Join the Bloom & Grow Garden Club!

Let Maria slide into your inbox twice a month with planty education and inspiration created just for YOU to help you “keep blooming and keep growing” your indoor jungles and spirits (you’ll also be the first to know about upcoming events, launches and other exciting things we are working on!).



Gardening has long been known for its therapeutic advantages and as a place of calm and peace in the middle of a hectic schedule. Garden therapy can relieve stress and enhance our mental and emotional health. In this episode, we'll look at 9 gardening practices that can help you develop a deeper connection with nature—and yourself.


In this episode, we learn:

  • [05:11] Therapeutic benefits of gardening during tough times
  • [09:40] How gardening can help you with focus and monotasking
  • [10:55] The connection between gardening and mindfulness
  • [12:55] 9 therapeutic garden activities for a more joyful gardening experience
  • [13:01] #1 Turn your garden visits into a self-care reflection moment
  • [17:08] Where can you find the best tone fertilizers for your indoor and outdoor plants?
  • [21:09] Engage your 5 senses!
  • [21:18] #2 Sight (being fully present in the beauty of nature)
  • [22:53] #3 Smell (enjoy aromas and incorporate them into daily routines)
  • [24:56] #4 Sound (especially bird songs!)
  • [26:54] #5 Touch (trace leaf outlines and feel their textures)
  • [28:38] #6 Taste (try your homegrown produce!)
  • [29:56] #7 Affirmations (to your plants and yourself)
  • [33:24] #8 Grow flowers
  • [35:39] #9 Look for plant/life parallels


Order my book!

Growing Joy: The Plant Lover's Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung

Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast,

so you don't miss the amazing episodes we have coming up!



Practice 1: Turn your garden visits into a self-care reflection moment

Instead of just going into your garden to do your gardening chores thoughtlessly, use your garden visits as a moment of self-reflection. Ask yourself questions like “What aspects of my life are dehydrated?” while you're watering your plants, or turn the process of checking your soil moisture levels into a mindful moment by engaging all your senses.


Practice 2: Learn to “see” on a deeper level

It’s time to truly see and appreciate the beauty of your plants, plant friends. I want you to look closely at the plants and focus on their details. You can even trace their outlines and veins with your fingers! Scan your collection to notice the different shades of green or vibrant colors, like the bright orange calendula.


Practice 3: Use scented plants to help you relax

Use scent to sweeten your garden therapy practice. Grow fragrant plants that give off pleasant scents, such as rosemary and basil. Take the time to smell the flowers, herbs, and other plants in your garden and appreciate how they use scent to communicate and connect with you.


Practice 4: Listen to the magic of birdsong

I love bird sounds, if you’ve seen my Instagram, you know my obsession with hummingbirds! Not to mention they serve as pollinators! Remember that gardens are not just a visual feast but a sonic one as well. If you live in a place where you don't get to benefit from birdsong and you're just listening to trucks and planes, a hack I swear by is to open YouTube and put on nature sounds!


Practice 5: Feel your feels while you feel your plants

Look at the different textures of your garden's leaves and plants. Engage your sense of touch by running your fingers along the edges of leaves and feeling their different edges, which can be waxy, fuzzy, or spikey. Close your eyes to improve your touch and sensory experience and be fully present in the moment.


Practice 6: Taste the air

Have you tasted the air? It’s possible and gives you the opportunity to stay in the present. I draw this inspiration from Dr. King Lee, someone I’ve talked a lot about in my book. Similarly, once you taste a homegrown tomato, you'll never be satisfied with store-bought tomatoes again. I encourage you to grow your own edible plants.


Practice 7: Plant Inspired Affirmations

Be kind to your plants, but also remember to be kind to yourself. We can gradually learn to affirm ourselves by affirming the growth and progress of our plants. Try to use phrases such as “You grow girl” and “Keep growing, my plant friend,” which you can apply to your plants and to yourself. Practice daily and use post-its in case you forget!


Practice 8: Grow Flowers 

I initially focused on growing herbs and vegetables when I was still living in a small apartment. But flowers are unique, and you should grow them too. Flowers hold historical and symbolic significance and inherently bring happiness to people. Dahlias are one of my favorites, zinnias are also beautiful and make great starter plants if you are looking for something a bit simpler. Not to mention arranging and gifting flowers can bring immense joy, both to the recipient and yourself.


Practice 9: Look for Plant/Life Parallels 

Explore your curiosity and try new things in your garden. Try something you have never grown before and learn how to cultivate it. Even if it fails, it provides a valuable learning experience. Don’t take yourself too seriously while gardening—sing to your plants! Gardening is meant to be enjoyable, and it's okay to have ups and downs. 

Incorporating these therapeutic garden practices into your gardening routine can help you decrease stress and increase well-being. Take the time to slow down and appreciate the beauty around you. Your garden can be a powerful tool for self-care and reflection.


Mentioned in our conversation:


Thank you to our episode sponsor:

Espoma Organic

Ensure a thriving garden with the right products! Espoma Organic is dedicated to making safe indoor and outdoor gardening products for people, pets, and the planet. They have an amazing variety of high-quality, organic potting mixes, garden soil, fertilizers, and pest control products that are organic and eco-friendly. To top it all off, they have a huge sustainability commitment with a 100% solar powered plant, zero waste manufacturing and eco-friendly packaging.

Visit to find your local Espoma dealer or check my Amazon storefront.



Follow Maria and Growing Joy:

Order my book: Growing Joy: The Plant Lover's Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung

Join the Bloom and Grow Garden Party Community Platform & App AKA the plantiest and kindest corner of the internet! Get your FREE 2-week trial here!

Take the Plant Parent Personality Quiz (Get the perfect plants, projects and educational resources for YOUR Lifestyle)

Support Bloom and Grow Radio by becoming a Plant Friend on Patreon!

Instagram: @growingjoywithmaria

Tiktok: @growingjoywithmaria

Subscribe to the Growing Joy Youtube channel! /growingjoywithmaria


Pinterest: @growingjoywithmaria

Leave a Reply

Follow along,  plant friends!


Stop wasting money on plants that don’t fit with your lifestyle.

Take the Plant Parent Personality™ quiz, and get curated recommendations for plants, projects, and podcast episodes inspired by your lifestyle to unlock your Plant Parent Potential!

Take the Plant Parent Personality™ Quiz