It is well known that having indoor plants contributes to a happier, healthier home. Plants have numerous health benefits that can alleviate stress, lower blood pressure, improve mood and enhance indoor air quality.

Moving beyond that, consider not just having houseplants, but having “health”plants, via an indoor garden scape that can serve as a sacred serenity space to “Zen out” and facilitate mindfulness, meditation and serenity. Much like an altar for prayer, an indoor serenity garden serves to keep us continually connected to nature, something we’ve strayed from increasingly since social media scene took its place in our distracted lives.

More important than ever is the startling fact that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), indoor air quality is 10 times worse, on average, than outdoor air due to many potential factors (mold, dust, radon, smoke, lead paint and more). This poor quality indoor air causes a slew of health problems, including: asthma, high blood pressure, migraines, anxiety and even cancer.

It’s crucial to keep aligned with the natural advantages of all that nature provides to heal, help and enhance our lives every moment. When we lose our connection to our natural world, we lose our connection with our very core of existence: our chemical and biological makeup; our need for negative ions, spiritual and physical cleansing and freshair.

Many living in urban or suburban areas don’t have easy access to the wealth of nature.

By emulating an outdoor garden indoors, you receive numerous benefits not available from any other source of medication or therapy. This type of eco therapy, known as Nature/Garden Therapy, allows you to create and tend to something that you also become a part of while meditating, praying or relaxing in its energy field, thereby receiving detoxification in numerous forms.

Here are some ideas to create your serenity garden and the added benefits.

  • Create a circle space, where you may sit in the middle of a circle of plants in an area that has as much sunlight as possible.Circles create a continual energy that allows energy to flow as our own biorhythms do. There is no break or stop in the process. There should be two plants for every 100 square feet of space, with every other plant being a tall one; this allows for protection and privacy.
  • Be sure that all of your plants are contained in pots that are made of natural materials; no synthetic materials should be allowed in your sacred space. Using only natural materials keeps things well, natural and will not break the flow of Earth energy.
  • Some plants best for improving indoor air quality are English Ivy, Variegated Snake Plant, Peace Lily, Broadleaf Lady Palm, most types of Fern and Chrysanthemum.Simply taking deep cleansing breaths in this space can elevate your level of being in the moment, feeling alive (as one with the plants) and consciousness (observe the vitality of the plants and meditate on it).
  • Have a water fountain in this space to create a beautiful nature sound for breathing and meditative benefits.Not only does the sound of water encourage relaxation and stress relief, but water contains negative ions, which cleans the air, improves mood and increases mental focus.
  • Use an aromatherapy diffuser or have scented herbs in your serenity garden, especially lavender, sage (for spiritual cleansing) and patchouli.Aromatherapy gives the bonus benefit of additional stress relief, helps stave off depression and anxiety, and treats your houseguests, family and pets to the added benefits. While meditating, focus on how these plants offer you scents and aromas that are natural intoxicants and thank them for their contributions.
  • Add sound therapy in your garden or communicate with your plants regularly.Plants are super sensitive to the energy around them. Just like humans, when nurtured they thrive, but when neglected or mistreated, they suffer. Using positive, loving words when in their company and watering them will foster growth for you both. You can include your plants in a guided meditation by playing the recording out loud while sitting in your garden. Playing calming, instrumental music with at least 432 MHZ in your serenity garden also encourages relaxation and tranquility for the plants and you.
  • Sit on the floor with comfortable pillows (made of all-natural materials) or a cotton mat for grounding energy. To keep the ritual of meditation or prayer sacred, use these materials for this purpose only. This is your sacred, personal space for serenity, so everything within its boundaries should be kept separate. Creating this space for yourself allows the ritual of returning to become a safe haven to release tension, negativity, stress, anxiety or depression. Use the mantra: “What I release here will be cleansed and released.” Think of your plants as not just air purifiers, but also soul purifiers that will clear your own energy and create clean, fresh air to breathe in, live in and go forth from into the world anew each and every day.
  • Consider adding natural stones you’ve collected from your walks in the woods or use crystals for healing and balance.Stones from the Earth contain energy that is grounding, soothing to the touch and calming. You can use them to work on certain Chakras or to balance your energy. Sit on your cushions or mat and hold them in your hand. Gather stones that call out to you on your walks and place them in the soil around your favorite plants for visual appeal and as a reminder of your pleasant experience on those walks.

Lastly, it is important to show gratitude for your serenity garden each day, even if you don’t dwell in its space as often as you would like. When feeling stressed at work or anywhere out in the world, visualize yourself in your serenity garden for five to 15 minutes, repeating your mantra. Remember that your garden is always there, waiting for your return, and as it grows and flowers, so too will your soul and your life.

Marcia Kendall, MA, RM, is a Certified Naturalist, Environmental Health Consultant, Eco Healer/Therapist, Ordained Minister, Reiki Master, college instructor at WCSU and radio host of “Sunday Soulstice Radio” on WXCI, 91.7 FM in Danbury. She is available for private consultation, public speaking and intuitive/spiritual readings. Connect at