I’m writing about the healing power of nature in Wildflower magazine Leave a comment

March 24, 2023

The new issue of Wildflower explores the therapeutic power of nature, a timely topic post-pandemic. I’m happy to say I contributed two articles to the issue.

The first is “Nature Therapy Is Child’s Play,” which starts on page 24. I looked into studies showing that nature play is essential to kids’ mental and physical health, and I talked with experts about how gardens and natural spaces positively impact children and adolescents. Many young people are really struggling right now and need our help — and Mother Nature’s — to feel better in our screen-focused world.

My other article, “Propagating Happiness” on page 42, is about a research study by Rosalie Kelley, a Wildflower Center program manager and U.S. Army veteran. While pursuing a master’s degree at Texas State, she devised a study with university students who were military veterans to see if caring for plants had a positive impact on the students’ mental health. Hint: it did!

You’ll find numerous other articles about the healing power of nature in the issue — but only if you’re a member of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, which gives you a subscription to the magazine.

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Digging Deeper

Shop for native Texas plants at the Wildflower Center’s spring Native Plant Sale. Held on Fridays through Sundays, March 24 to May 7, from 9 am to 1 pm. The first weekend is just for Wildflower Center members, so join to enjoy this perk, plus get free admission all year and more.

Tour season kicks off with the new Austin Home’s Great Outdoors Tour on March 25 from 11 am to 4 pm. Visit 7 designer landscapes for $20, and gather ideas for your own outdoor living space.

Experience the Surreal Garden at Zilker Botanical Garden, an enchanting neon-art display throughout the gardens, with food and drink, music and dancing, surreal performers, and interactive art sculptures. Surreal costumes encouraged! 25% of event proceeds benefit the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy. Runs April 6 (VIP Night), April 7-8, and April 13-15, from 6:30 pm to 11 pm.

Add to your succulent collection at the Austin Cactus & Succulent Society Spring Show & Sale on April 15 and 16, from 10 am to 5 pm, at Zilker Botanical Garden. Come enjoy the plant show, shop for unique plants and pottery, and participate in a silent auction and raffles. Free with paid admission to Zilker Botanical Garden.

Tour 9 designer landscapes on the 2023 Austin Outdoor Living Tour on May 6. Designers and builders will be on hand to answer your questions. Cost is $33.85 for adults and $17.85 for kids aged 12 to 17. For safety, no one under 12 years of age except for carried infants.

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. Season 7 starts in August. Stay tuned for the lineup!

All material © 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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