Gardens of WA: Gardening boosts mental health, brings people together and fosters new livelihoods

According to the famous Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, “any form of addiction is bad, whether it’s alcohol, morphine or idealism the intoxicant”.

Revealing? Yes. Way? Probably. But I bet Carl didn’t know any gardeners.

A garden addiction is like no other. And you can trust me there. I speak from personal experience. Unlike traditional addictions—which tend to damage relationships, destroy careers, and erode health—an addiction to gardening has the opposite effect. It brings people together, promotes new livelihoods and increases mental and physical well-being. And yes, I know I sound like a proselytizer for plants. I drank the Kool-Aid and it tastes good.

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Among my fellow proselytists is Fesi Djojo. As co-owner of Botanical Bar and sister-in-law to Robert King (whose garden has been featured in this column), Fesi knows the joys of rampant plant addiction. Her home is full of green, leafy treasures.

Really, it’s more jungle than house. If an alien were auditing the site, they could only assume that the plants were in charge. “I counted my plants about a year ago,” Fesi tells me. “I got over 560.”

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