The idea of bringing the outdoors into the office is not a new one. Tropical plants, soothing sounds of gently flowing water, brightly colored fish effortlessly gliding through recreated oceans are common ways of bringing a slice of nature into today’s offices. While both research and observation tells us that bringing nature inside is good, we now know that going out into nature is even better.
After a year of working remotely from home, the American workforce is returning to the office. While it is a welcome change for many -- one recent survey by Glassdoor indicated that 72% of the respondents are looking forward to a return to the workplace -- most express a desire for modifications that protect their health and wellness. Safe distancing, deep cleaning and health screenings are at the top of the list of expected office precautions, but for employers who want to make a real difference in their employees’ lives, there is another even more beneficial option -- bringing the office outdoors.
If the term RAIN GARDEN brings an image of a weedy bog teeming with scores of mosquitoes and other unpleasant flying insects to your mind, then it’s time to update and edit that picture!
If you stop and think about it, movement is inherent in nature. Every motion, no matter how big or how small, adds its thread to the tapestry that is our environment.
For many, myself included, the idea of going outside in cold, snowy weather is absolutely ludicrous. We prefer to enjoy the outdoors sitting by the fireplace and gazing out of a frost covered windowpane. Unfortunately staying indoors during the winter months may keep us warm and toasty, but it can also add to or even cause some health-related problems.
In winter everything gets stripped down to its very essence and becomes sculptural. Details and views hidden by summer leaves are revealed. Structure, form and the quality of light and atmosphere become the stars of the show. By using the cues that nature gives us, we can fill our yards with winter beauty. “
Welcome back to our virtual tour of some of the world’s outstanding -- and unusual -- botanical gardens. For this trip, I thought we would start right here in the United States with a visit to a garden that is one of my personal favorites, the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.
Just when quarantining was starting to get to me, I discovered a way to travel the world from the safety of my favorite chair -- I found a treasure trove of virtual tours. With a few clicks of my mouse, I joined a Smithsonian tour of Egyptian Heritage Sites, rode an elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower and came face-to-face with the wildlife of Antarctica. Best of all though, were the breathtaking botanical gardens I meandered through. If you’re ready for a break from the humdrum pace of everyday life, then join me as we stroll through ten of the world’s best. We’ll explore five of my favorites this week and five more next week. I hope you’ll join us for all ten.