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Discover Podcast

Summer Rayne Oakes in Conversation with Simon Sinek

Author & Optimist Summer Rayne Oakes chats with Simon Sinek about his new publishing imprint, Optimism Press, and Summer's new book, How To Make A Plant Love You.


Indoor plants aren't just cute décor. They offer a rare opportunity to find joy by caring for another living being.

Everyone deserves to feel the inner peace that comes from taking care of greenery. Beyond the obvious benefits--beauty and cleaner air--there's a strong psychological benefit to taking care of plants as a path to mindfulness. They can reduce our stress level, lower our blood pressure, and improve our overall outlook.

When environmental scientist Summer Rayne Oakes moved to Brooklyn from the Pennsylvania countryside, she knew that bringing plants into her apartment was her only chance to stay sane. She found them by the side of the road, in long-forgotten window boxes, at farmers' markets, and in local garden shops. She found ways to shelve, hang, tuck, anchor, secure, and suspend them. She even installed 150-foot expandable hose that connects to pipes under her kitchen sink, so she only has to spend about a half-hour a day tending to her plants--an activity that she describes as a "moving meditation."

Summer has since become a mother to over 1,000 houseplants, and is, according to a New York Times profile, the icon of wellness-minded millennials who want to bring nature indoors. Her book, How To Make A Plant Love You, is your guide to cultivating an entirely new relationship with plants. Inside, you'll learn to:

  • Pause for the plants all around you, even the ones sprouting bravely between cracked pavement
  • Trust that plants offer us far more than pretty décor
  • See the world from a plant's perspective, trading modern consumerism for sustainability
  • Serve plants by learning to identify the right species for your home and to recreate their natural habitat
    (Bonus: your plants won't die!)

When we become plant parents, we also become better caretakers of ourselves, the people around us, and our planet. So, let's step inside the world of plants and discover how we can begin cultivating our own personal green space--in our homes, in our minds, and in our hearts.