The wellbeing benefits of foraging for flowers, branches and greenery
We all know how being in nature is good for our sense of wellbeing and that bringing small pieces of nature into our indoor environment can benefit us too. Therefore, foraging for flowers, branches and greenery to bring inside and adorn our spaces with is a wonderful self-care activity.
Benefits of foraging
All our senses are activated when foraging. Notice the plants you are looking at, the smell and feel of them, and any sounds you can hear such as the rustling of leaves or wildlife. If edible, you could also taste it.
Gets you outdoors and exercising
Foraging around gets you out in the fresh air, absorbing Vitamin D from the sun and exercises your body through gentle walking, stretching and bending.
Fosters continual learning
Foraging brings a world of learning opportunities to keep your brain active. As you forage you might like to read about the plant you are collecting or the area you are collecting it from. You may want to learn how to plant it in your own garden or in a pot. Perhaps, what you forage is also edible so you can seek out new recipes. As you arrange your bounty indoors you may want to look at floral arrangement videos or take a class.
Whilst it’s lovely to buy flowers especially your favourite ones at anytime of year from a shop or florist, the seasonality of foraging flowers and greenery from outside helps align you to nature and saves you money.
How to forage
Wear long sleeves and/or gardening gloves to avoid scratches and stings.
Take good floral scissors or gardening secateurs.
Take a basket / bag to collect in. If practical, a bucket or container with water is useful to put cut plants straight into.
When to forage
In morning before it gets too warm is the best time to forage for plants. Put the cut plants straight into a bucket of cold water to keep them hydrated.
Where to forage
Your own garden or local area. Look for overgrown plants that need pruning anyway, branches that have already broken off the plant and wild patches. If the land is someone else’s, ask for permission.
How to cut plants
Make clean cuts so you don’t damage the plant
Find flowers or branches that have buds yet to bloom so they can continue to bloom once inside and that any future blooms last longer.
Collect a good mix of plants with different textures, colours, shapes and sizes to help create interesting arrangements once back home. Look for branches with interesting bends and twists, which have moss growing on them or have dried seed / fruit pods.
Take off any insects still on the plant.
Give thanks. If this type of practice aligns with you, ask and give thanks to plant for your foraging. It can help bring about a sense of peace in you.
Be an ethical forager
Only take what you need without damaging the plant.
Avoid cutting plants that are endangered or rare. Get a plant identification app to help you. A good list can be found here or go old school with a book.
Leave blooms behind for bees, insects, animals and others to enjoy. Never take from a plant that only has a single bloom. Be mindful of the eco system.
Over to you
Make time this week for a foraging expedition. Plan if you will go into your own garden or beyond. Gather your cutting tools and collecting containers. Practice mindfulness whilst foraging. Enjoy arranging your finds back at home. You can even sit in front of your arrangement daily and be mindful too.