Deeper Green is a firm that creates indoor plantscapes for clients using vegetation and artwork to promote physiological wellbeing. Their work is sought after by CEOs, the owners of green businesses, and homeowners who wish to incorporate the calming benefits of art and living landscapes. Deeper Green CEO Debra Amerson brings 30 plus years of experience with horticulture and her training in fine arts and deep ecology to every endeavor she undertakes.
Amerson produces arrangements with the eye of an artist – creating holistic designs with plants paired masterfully with the rich hues present in modern art. She also understands the healing connection between people and plants, as she devoted time to attending a workshop that presented the findings on the subject at UC Davis.
The demand for Amerson’s work in biophilic design reveal something inherent to how human beings are wired – that indoor plants have a powerful effect on the human psyche. In Berman, Jonides, and Kaplan’s 2008 study, they discovered that people had significantly less cortisol, a stress hormone, in their saliva after just thirty minutes spent in nature. This is telling, because long term exposure to cortisol can damage the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus regions of the brain. The effect of plants on cognitive function is so powerful that a 2006 Australian study found a rate of 36% fewer dementia diagnoses among those who garden every day.
In the treatment of addiction, trained therapists expose their patients to nature by giving them the chance to watch as the seeds they plant sprout up into new life. Those who need care become caregivers, and they gain experience tending to and nurturing fruit-bearing plants and trees. Horticulture therapy is also a trusted method for helping those with problem behaviors and criminal records, and high numbers of patients thus treated choose to make better decisions as as result.
Plants as Part of a Business Model
Biophilic design is making serious inroads in the world of business, particularly in Silicon Valley. In the Central & Wolfe campus, the design calls for over 208,000 square feet of plant life to exist on the rooftop and for people to never be more than 45 feet away from nature. Google is another company that has brought nature inside with plant life, fountains, and aquariums, and the company has reaped the rewards of better than average employee retention rates and extraordinary levels of creative output. Apple is another such company with biophilic design and similar results that demonstrate beautifully the connection between nature, feelings of wellbeing, imagination, and productivity.
The spaces in which people work have a direct impact on their emotional and physiological health, and businesses are finding that certain aspects of biophilic design – plants and artwork – are relatively simple to introduce into the office environment. The dividends pay handsomely in the form of happier employees who spend less time off with stress leave and who, simply put, produce better work.
Employees who work in area with a view of live vegetation experience the healing benefits of indoor plants, and they save the companies they work for, on average, a sum of $2,000 a year. In schools, test scores go up, and the cumulative human capacity for growth, development, and health has been proven to increase again and again. We are seeing people the world over planting seeds and watching life affect life.