Nature Makes Us Happy
It's no surprise to us gardeners that being among plants and nature's gifts makes us happy. Recent science supports the theory that looking at nature makes people nicer. Researchers at the University of Rochester in New York monitored the effects of natural versus artificial environments.
'We've found nature brings out more social feelings, more value for community and close relationships. People are more caring when they're around nature," said Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology, psychiatry, and education at the University of Rochester. Ryan co-authored the study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Learn more.
Favorite or New Plant
Also know as Tall Verbena and Purple Vervain, Verbena bonairiensis is a tender perennial (zones 7-10) that self-seeds abundantly in colder areas. Sometimes it overwinters in warmer parts of Zone 6. Its small clusters of rosy purple flowers grow atop sturdy, 3- to 4-foot stems. I enjoy its height, like upside-down exclamation points, in most any sunny garden. It's also stunning planted en masse with daisies, asters, or goldenrod. The mid-to-late season flowers attract butterflies and bees. Another plus is its drought-tolerance.