Meet Ellen, a passionate horticulturalist with a profound commitment to promoting wellbeing through gardening and nature. As the founder of People Plants Wellbeing, Ellen specialises in nature therapy, integrative wellness, and spiritual healing. Additionally, she serves as the creative director at Ethica Content and is an accomplished author, broadcaster, and speaker, known for her expertise in horticulture and wellness.

Ellen's dedication to advocating the benefits of gardening and the natural world is evident in her diverse range of endeavors, from designing gardens for private clients to hosting award-winning podcasts and appearing on various media platforms. With her extensive background in horticulture, social and therapeutic horticulture, as well as training in NLP, reiki, hypnotherapy, and wellness coaching,

Ellen offers a holistic approach to wellbeing, grounded in natural surroundings. As an Ambassador for Trees for the Future and Patron of Filby Gardening Club, Ellen actively works with horticultural charities to foster connections between people and plants, embodying her belief that our interconnectedness with nature is essential for both physical and mental health.

Given your extensive outdoor gardening and nature background, how do you think your approach to indoor houseplants differs from traditional gardening practices?

I see houseplants and all plants in our lives as a relationship. We take so much from the natural world and bring in plants to make the house look pretty or because we’ve been told they are good for wellbeing (they are of course), but what do we give back? So I think of indoor gardening as a two way relationship. What does the plant need from me? How can I ensure it thrives? That’s first and foremost in my thoughts. 

ou share some insights into how indoor houseplants can be integrated into holistic wellness practices, drawing on your expertise in horticulture and wellness coaching?

Perhaps the most important aspect of integrating houseplants to wellness is to actually spend some time with them. Often a plat is bought, put in a pot and stood in the corner. It might get watered, maybe fed and thats it - there is stands. But how about actually getting to know the plant? Just like gardening outdoors where observation is key and understanding seasons and what each plant needs, the same can be practiced indoors as well. So, really getting to know the needs of each individual plants bring us a little closer to understand them which results in a better relationship in the first place. Next I would say, sit amongst houseplants to read or meditate. Place them where you can see and admire them easily. Outdoor gardening means taking time or booking diary space to go do it and it should be the same for indoor plants. I place crystals in plant pots, touch the leaves to feel the texture, look closely at the patterns and colours - you could even talk to them! I’m pretty sure they would thank you for it. 

With your passion for connecting people with plants, how do you curate indoor plant environments to evoke specific moods or enhance well-being?

Choosing plants is very personal for each of us. So thinking about what you want your home or room to feel like is really important when creating indoor environments. If you want to walk into a room and feel energetic choose plants that have colourful flowers, place them in colourful pots and pick plants with bold patterns on the foliage. If you want a serene environment consider big foliage that makes you feel comforted and safe, Almost like it wraps around you with a big hug. Adding accessories into a plant environment can help such as a meditation corner with some pillows, aromatherapy oils, warm lighting Make sure plants are placed where you are going to interact with them easily.  

Considering your role as a co-host on The Plant-Based Podcast and your expertise in indoor gardening, could you discuss any recent plant trends or innovations in indoor houseplants?

Over the past 8 years or so the increase in houseplant lovers has gone wild! It’s exciting and been a real joy to see. Trends are interesting to me since they come and go so easily. Who would have thought the Monstera and Swiss cheese Plant my parents had in their living room in the 80’s would now be some of the most popular plants to have! We’ve gone from big foliage plants to tiny terrariums and everything in-between over these last few years, mainly thanks to social media.

You've mentioned your love for outdoor gardening and the joy it brings. How do you balance your time and attention between outdoor and indoor plant care?

For me, there is no question that my outdoor spaces require a lot more attention than my houseplants even though I do have a jungle at home. I set aside at least two sessions per week for my indoor plants. Each session might include watering or feeding depending on the time of year, wiping the leaves or looking closely for pests and diseases. If nothing needs particular attention I use that time to sit and meditate surrounded by plants or to simply touch, look closely and let my mind switch off. I’m penning it as ‘plant meditation’ - maybe that will catch on!

With your experience hosting talks and writing about gardening, how do you approach educating others about the joys and challenges of indoor plant care?

Us humans are complicated beings aren’t we? We don’t like to be told what to do. So, I tend to keep things light and fun with more focus on letting people in to my own world and what I do. Hopefully that inspires people to try some of those practices out themselves. I also love chatting with other planty people by interviewing or hosting, which gives me the opportunity to draw out their knowledge and love of plants to inspire people as well. Along with the media and broadcasting side of work I like to work closely with people to encourage that all important realisation that we ARE nature! We often talk about reconnect with nature - which of course is true - but I think this comes from a deeper place of reminding ourselves that we are indeed nature ourselves. I provide wellness sessions, reiki, mindful gardening and many other healing modalities in amongst a natural environment.  I also run nature based wellness retreats with People Plants Wellbeing, where we forest bathe, enjoy nature crafts, stargaze, forage and eat plant based food along with working for Ethica Content as creative director working with ethical companies to get seen more in the online world. 

Could you share any personal anecdotes or favourite indoor plant varieties that hold a special place in your heart and why?

I have a big thing about Cacti after visiting Arizona. We ventured out far and wide to deserts, hiking and meditating in Sedona. After visiting the Desert Botanic Garden I was completely hooked - plus they really are easy to care for. I also have a huge collection of Orchids which became an addiction after being awe inspired at the Singapore Botanic Garden and Orchid collection. I love having them around growing naturally rather than clipped to a support. To be honest… there isn’t a houseplant I don’t like!

Given your background in media and horticulture, how do you think platforms like television and podcasts can inspire more people to embrace indoor gardening?

I think anyone who has a plant platform in the media has a responsibility to promote organic, safe and kind methods of growing. With that it’s important to be producing correct information and adding in some fun! Houseplants are cool, they give us responsibility and connection to the natural world, there are numerous benefits to growing indoors so the more in the media the better. The more we can show people what plants go where, how to choose and care for plants, why even have indoor plants and how big the plant community is, the more people will be inspired to try growing plants themselves.

Looking ahead, what are your thoughts on the future of indoor gardening, and how do you see it evolving in the context of our increasingly urbanized lifestyles?

So many more people are understanding the importance of caring for the precious natural world and how important it is for human wellness. Many people rent homes and urban areas are growing so that need for being in nature is also growing. We know that health suffers more in urban areas but having greenery indoors really can help. Of course green areas must be part of urban planning and everyone should have access to being outside in a green space but having some kind of connection, something to nurture and enjoy can be really rewarding indoors. Not only with houseplants but also growing inside with windowsill pots, hydroponics, home aeroponic systems - while many of these are expensive at the moment and inaccessible to many, I think in the future we will see much more of this. 

Ellen and co-host Michael Perry (Mr. Plant Geek)

Listen in weekly to Ellen and co-host Michael Perry (Mr. Plant Geek) chatting worldwide to people who love plants.

From plant based food to flowers for bees & everything in-between, it’s a podcast exploring the fascinating world of plants and the people that love them! The Plant Based Podcast hit number 1 in the hobbies category on iTunes after just a few days of release! 

You can listen in via iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube and other platforms, all via the website link

Learn more about Ellen here

And follow Ellen here

Photography by Ellen Mary, © EllenMaryGardening 




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