Gardening for Stress Relief: Exploring Wellbeing in Nature – Perla Sofía Curbelo Santiago – 143Craig McManus
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Gardening for Stress Relief: Exploring Wellbeing in Nature - Perla Sofía Curbelo Santiago - 143

In this episode we talk with Perla Sofía Curbelo-Santiago, a passionate gardener and professional communicator from Puerto Rico.

Perla Sofía is the founder of Agrochic, a gardening lifestyle platform in Spanish that advocates for the profound benefits of gardening for wellness.

Our focus today is on the transformative power of gardening for stress relief, mental health, and overall physical well-being.

Perla Sofía, with her expertise and enthusiasm, takes us on a journey through various topics, including stress management techniques, seamlessly integrating gardening into your lifestyle, the joy of engaging in garden activities, and the art of designing gardens for both aesthetic pleasure and health benefits.

Our conversation goes beyond the blooms and greenery. Perla Sofía shares valuable insights on handling gardening failures, preserving the legacy of your garden, and draws from her gardening experience.

With a background in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico and a master's degree in Public Relations, coupled with her certification in Horticulture Therapy from the Chicago Botanic Garden, Perla Sofía brings a unique perspective to the intersection of well-being and gardening.

A media-preneur since 2007, Perla Sofía founded Zurda Media Enterprises, producing engaging content around agriculture and gardening. Her contributions were recognized in 2021 when she received the B.Y. Morrison Communication Award from the American Horticultural Society.

Perla Sofía is on a mission to spread awareness in both Spanish and English about the significance of taking a #GardenBreak.

Through her new book ¡Verdura! Living a Garden Life. The book seeks to reduce stress, add joy & green-up your life with the power of plants. It is published in English and in Spanish.

In her Spanish podcast, La verdura de hoy, and her new website,, in English. She shares strategies on using nature and gardening-based activities to enhance your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, whether you're at home or in the workplace.

Photo courtesy of: Perla Sofía Curbelo-Santiago
Photo courtesy of: Perla Sofía Curbelo-Santiago

Time Line 

00:01 Introduction to the Garden Question Podcast

00:40 Meet the Guest: Perla Sofía Curbelo Santiago

01:00 Exploring the Transformative Power of Gardening

01:45 Perla Sofia's Background and Achievements

02:26 The Significance of Taking a Garden Break

03:22 Gardening and Stress Management

04:42 Creating a Garden for Personal Enjoyment

06:29 Gardening Inspired by Literature

11:52 Gardening as a Family Activity

14:12 Gardening for Teenagers

19:31 The Concept of Garden Life

22:12 Addressing Modern Stressors through Gardening

25:44 The Role of Biophilia in Modern Life

28:15 Introducing Verdura: Living a Garden Life

34:19 Creating a Green Space for Zoom Meetings

35:26 Organizing Your Legacy: Planning for Your Collections

39:29 Designing a Garden with Intention

40:37 Busting the Green Thumb Myth

41:32 Early Garden Memories and Pursuing Gardening as a Profession

46:29 Funny Garden Stories: The Pumpkin Paranoia

50:41 Valuable Gardening Advice and Influences

54:03 Learning from Gardening Mistakes and Discoveries

57:38 Attracting Wildlife to the Garden: Future Plans

01:01:04 Daily Gardening Routine and Final Thoughts