Cover for LEWIS: Green Nature/Human Nature: The Meaning of Plants in Our Lives

Green Nature/Human Nature

The Meaning of Plants in Our Lives

"Our ties to the green world are often subtle and unexpected. It is not merely that hemoglobin and chlorophyll bear a striking similarity in structure, or that plants provide the pleasure of food and flowers."--from the Preface

Why do gardeners delight in the germination and growth of a seed? Why are our spirits lifted by flowers, our feelings of tension allayed by a walk in a forest or park? What other positive influences can green nature bring to humanity?

In Green Nature/Human Nature Charles A. Lewis describes the psychological, sociological, and physiological responses of people to vegetation in cities and forests, as well as in horticultural therapy programs in hospitals, geriatric institutions, physical rehabilitation centers, drug rehabilitation programs, and correctional institutions. He presents an evolutionary basis for the human attraction to plants. People-plant interactions are presented from two perspectives: participatory, in which the individual is involved in planting and maintaining the vegetation, and observational, in which the individual bears no responsibility for establishing or maintaining the vegetation.

In what amounts to a straightforward catalog of well-documented and tangible benefits, Lewis brings the latest and best research into plant/human interaction to bear on questions of how green nature is intertwined with the human psyche and how that interaction can lead to enhanced well-being and an appreciation of the human dimension in environmental concerns.

Lewis's work will be essential reading for anyone interested in plants and how they affect people.

A volume in the series The Environment and the Human Condition


Charles A. Lewis has worked as horticulturist and administrator of the collections program and then research fellow at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. He also has been a plant breeder, grower and garden center operator, and director of a public garden. Now a consultant in people-plant interactions, he has published widely in professional journals and popular magazines and newspapers.

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