Have you ever felt happier after a walk in the woods or fiddling with houseplants but your hectic life stressed you out again? In our rushed, tech-based, indoor society, we may yearn for a break but only manage to get through a noisy day and collapse in bed. Regaining a peaceful mind seems beyond reach. But what if there were easy, low-cost activities to heal the soul? What if we could regularly access tranquility? How would we do that? The answer may be in the simplest, most abundant thing all around us: plants.
Plants are like a magic pill for our mental health. Growing science tells us they lower heart rates, make us more relaxed and productive, boost our immune system, help us live longer, and provide air, food, fragrance, and beauty. In Leaf Your Troubles Behind: How to Destress and Grow Happiness Through Plants, horticulturalist Karen Hugg draws on the science and two decades of professional gardening experience to help readers reduce stress and increase happiness. Through her original, approachable system of “Green Leisure,” you will:
-discover nature’s scientifically proven power to heal us from stress
-explore what “green leisure” activities are right for you
-create a soothing green lounge at home, either via plants or just photos and décor
-gain confidence in growing low-maintenance but rewarding plants, indoors and out
-develop “green leisure” habits to ensure care for your soul any time of year
With personal stories, the latest research, and fun easy-to-do activities, Karen guides readers in delving into the wonders of plants while “leafing” their daily stress behind and growing joy.
Karen Hugg is a writer and gardener with a passion for plants. She’s a certified ornamental horticulturalist and Master Pruner. She has helped hundreds of clients create relaxing, beautiful gardens via her garden design and maintenance company for almost 20 years, and has taught horticulture at the community college level. Now she writes about plants and gardening with published articles in Garden Center Magazine, Garden Rant, Northwest Garden News, and others. She also writes novels about plants and flowers, including The Forgetting Flower, The Dark Petals of Provence, and the forthcoming Harvesting the Sky. Hugg lives in the Seattle area with her husband, three adopted kids, and dog Olive.
“Karen Hugg has written a fine and important guide on how gardening nurtures us as we nurture the Earth, and how to deepen our reciprocity with the rest of the natural world.” — Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle
“How often when you’re reading a gardening book do you find yourself laughing, smiling, and nodding in agreement, maybe even answering out loud? Karen Hugg’s down-to-earth book touched my heart, inspired and informed me about not only gardens, but also my own health and happiness and relationship with nature. Brava!” – Sharon Lovejoy, author of Sunflower Houses, Roots Shoots Buckets & Boots, and Trowel and Error, among many others
NetGalley Review: 4 stars
Last updated on 06 Jun 2022
"This is a green hug of a book from Karen Hugg! It is essentially a guide to de-stressing by spending time among plants. This book follows the trend of how-to guides dedicated to getting back to nature. It offers accessible, low-cost ideas for all types of readers and gardening skill sets. The book is divided into seven strategies based on “leisure.” They include: Learning about nature; Experiencing nature; Idly playing with nature; Supporting green life; Uniting with like-minded nature enthusiasts; and Exercising outside. It doesn’t include much new information compared to other books on the subject, but it is a cute reminder with practical suggestions to get outside more."—Rachel Hagerty, consumer reviewer
NetGalley Review: 5 stars
Last updated on 23 Jun 2022
"This is a great book about using plants to help you de-stress. I really have a plant addiction and this book is not going to help..."—Kaitlyn Call, librarian at Lubbock Public Library
Last updated on 10 Jul 2022
"This book really encourages you gently into becoming a Plant Person, even if you previously did not have any interest. There’s a ton of helpful activities (full list available on my blog), and it combines Real Sciencey Science with personal experiences and anecdotes. This book is really cozy, honestly, and I think I really recommend it. I’m not sure if I’ll be becoming a Plant Person, but I’m going to try out some of these activities and see what happens. Five stars."—Latitude Brown, Latitude's Library