Soothing Green

Soothing Green

They say that green is the most soothing colour on the human eye and that being outdoors - in nature, in a park, garden or woodland - can help us to feel calmer and more relaxed. But did you also know that the human eye can distinguish more shades of green than any other colour?

So maybe this is why when we like to be surrounded by shades of green as it may also help us to feel more stimulated, more positive and enthusiastic about the life we are living?

Certainly for me, bringing green into the home is like a tonic, a pick-me-up; I focus my eyes on a big jug of foliage by my bed or a cluster of pot-plants on my kitchen window ledge and - yup - instant therapy! Instant self-help, if you like! 

Plus, for folk who don't have access to green spaces directly outside the front door, there are numerous ways that we can 'go green' with minimal hassle or stress. 

Here's how: 

- From the market, I buy little cartons of salad cress and other living edibles. I put bunches of watercress, parsley, coriander and dill in jam-jars alongside the fruit bowl and condiments on the table (cutting off a bit of the stalk first, so they can drink up the water). 

- Shop-bought herbs and ones that I've grown myself stand in neat, multi-coloured rows of pots facing the sun on window ledges. (These all come indoors in winter.) 

- Alternatively, ferns and succulents are most happy in shaded places like the bathroom and next to the TV. 

- Where there is available outside space, clusters of plants of different heights, shapes and shades are really effective, for example, miniature conifers, trailing ivies and winter-flowering jasmine.

You get back what you give, as they say, and providing your plants with a bit of support in the form of watering (but not too often!) and repotting (in the spring, with fresh compost for both air and nutrients) offers the sense of caring for something living as well... 

Try it, test it, I promise you won't be disappointed ...!

Victoria Perselli is truly a woman for all seasons! She has been a classical musician, academic, fiction writer and published poet. Her enduring passion is horticulture, and she has been researching, growing, photographing, cooking and eating plants since her early childhood in sunny Devon. Here she explains how bringing some green plants into your home can lift the spirits