Planting a locally-inspired garden means healthier plants and happier people

Getting your hands dirty with greenery sourced from around our province has myriad benefits for your health and well-being at any age

G. Marion Johnson  •  Postmedia Content Works

Nootka rose, wild ginger, Pacific bleeding heart and wood sorrel: these are just a handful of plants that thrive in B.C. If there’s one theme that emerged from the global pandemic it was the importance of supporting local. That value extends to growing local, too.

Whether you have a container garden on your patio or a larger plot to dig into, planting locally-sourced plants does all kinds of wonders for people and the planet.

For starters, gardening is a fantastic activity to do as a family. Kids love to get their hands dirty, and it’s a way to spend time together that doesn’t involve a screen. Then there’s the universal joy of seeing something you planted flourish. It’s even more exciting when can eat what you sow, whether it’s berries or greens. This extends the hobby into the kitchen, too.

No matter what age or stage of life you’re at, gardening is also an outstanding way to de-stress. Spending time surrounded by greenery or even tending to small plants are activities with proven health benefits, from reduced blood pressure to a calmer state of mind. Gardening also helps people slow down and be “mindful,” meaning being fully aware of the present moment. All this leads to enhanced relaxation, better mood and increased productivity and focus.

What’s more, nurturing plants in garden beds and on balconies attracts pollinators. Bees, butterflies, beetles and birds are vital for local ecosystems, habitats, food and biological diversity.

B.C. is home to some 3,000 native plant species and various B.C.-grown plants, but there’s no wrong way to get started. If you’re looking for advice, Plant Something BC, an initiative of the BC Landscape and Nursery Association, has all the resources you need to get your locally-oriented green thumb going.

Plant Something BC also has resources to point you to local, independent landscapers, so you can connect with and commission experts in your area.

Local plants are right at home here, so it’s no wonder they thrive. When they do well, people and our natural surroundings do well, too.

For more information, see Plant Something B.C.

This project is supported by the BC Government’s Buy BC Partnership Program; delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC with funding from the Government of British Columbia.

The Government of British Columbia is committed to working with industry partners. Opinions expressed in this document are those of [the authors] and not necessarily those of the Government of British Columbia or the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of BC Landscape and Nursery Association.