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Best of Cultivating Place: The Well-Gardened Mind, with Sue Stuart-Smith

Image - Cover art of The Well-Gardened Mind, courtesy of Sue Stuart-Smith.

I think it’s nearly impossible to try and stay abreast of current events, and not simultaneously need to remind ourselves to care for our individual mental health - for ourselves, but hopefully to contribute to the sanity of our collective as well. I was so pleased to read last week that at one of the garden world’s biggest show events, London’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, held the last week of May, judges awarded a gold medal to a garden entitled the mind garden, designed by Andy Sturgeon and supported by Crocus. 

With the idea of mental health care being intertwined with our gardens, this week Cultivating Place revisits a best-of conversation from 2020 with British psychiatrist/psychotherapist, researcher, and gardener, Sue Stuart-Smith, author of "The Well-Gardened Mind: The Restorative Power of Nature", which explores her many years of research and findings on the physiology of the brain and the creativity and connections cultivated in the brain when we are gardening. In this work “of science, insight and anecdote,” Sue demonstrates that “our understanding of nature and its restorative powers is just beginning to flower.” Enjoy!

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Jennifer Jewell is the creator and host of the national award-winning, weekly public radio program and podcast, Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History & the Human Impulse to Garden, Jennifer Jewell is a gardener, garden writer, and gardening educator and advocate. Particularly interested in the intersections between gardens, the native plant environments around them, and human culture, she is the daughter of garden and floral designing mother and a wildlife biologist father.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.