Contain Yourself

There are so many benefits of gardening and being in nature. Just looking at nature or working with plants can be healing, soothing and restorative. If you don’t have the space or the inclination for an outdoor garden or even a flower bed, consider gardening indoors.

Plants are good for indoor air, tending and nourishing them is therapeutic, and indoor gardening still provides a connection to nature. You could grow fresh herbs for cooking and fresh pesticide-free fruits and vegetables year round inside. There are several options if you want to try your hand at indoor gardening. We recently added several new books on the subject.


Houseplants are perfect for the beginning “plant parent.” You can have as many or as few as you want. In her book How to Make a Plant Love You, Summer Rayne Oakes teaches us to approach caring for plants as we would a relationship. She expands on a favorite theme of mine, the human-nature connection. Oake’s book is more a love story with lots of anecdotes, hers and other people’s, on the joy of living with plants.


If you’re feeling creative, try your hand at terrariums. Terrariums are self-contained ecosystems that need minimum care once established.  You can use any combination of stones, moss, wood, glass beads, miniatures and of course plants. You can build a tiny fairy habitat, seascape, Japanese-themed, desert or anything you can imagine. In Creative Terrariums Enid Svymbersky shows her flair for design with 33 delightful plans for mini-gardens. A popular craft blogger, Enid gives detailed instructions for each garden and for terrariums in general. I especially loved the “Darling Dino” and “Concharium.”

Growing under lights

If you like to cook or just love fresh vegetables, you might consider an indoor herb or vegetable garden. There are indoor garden kits you can buy, but you can also make your own with a little space, containers to fit and a grow light. You can grow anything indoors from edible crops to flowers to succulents. Leslie Halleck in her book Gardening Under Lights will enlighten you on what you need to know about light and plants.  She also gives expert advice on other aspects of a growing environment, handling pests and diseases, and tips for individual plants.

View complete list

I work in Circulation as a senior library associate. I love mysteries, traveling, gardens and libraries. My favorite authors are Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Peters, Patricia Cornwell and Harlan Coben, but I enjoy any well-plotted mystery.