In 2019, Jodianne Beckford was working as a photographer at a commercial shoot in Paris, France when she realized she felt overwhelmingly depressed and anxious and much sadder than she thought she should feel. At a shoot. In Paris. And, despite the beauty of her location and the fact that she loved her profession, her feelings of anxiety and deep sadness couldn’t be eased.
When she returned home to Toronto, Jodianne still felt unwell, keeping to herself and remaining disengaged from the world. She began to worry about the state of her mental health.
Jodianne’s mother Tattie was also worried. An avid gardener, Tattie was able to convince Jodianne to help with some garden tasks, and, crucially — to get her outdoors, into nature.
As she carried plants to and from the garden at Tattie’s direction, Jodianne was surprised to realize she felt a bit better. And, as her day of gardening went on — even better and better, to a state where she actually felt a glimmer of happiness.
Spending time with greenery helped Jodianne so much that she decided to get a plant of her own — a snake plant she named Tyrone. (Yes, we love the name, too.)
Tyrone was just the beginning. This first purchase led to more and more plants, until Jodianne had acquired 80 plants to love and nurture. Yup, you read that right — 80 plants. Along the way, Jodianne created Noire Girls Plant, making connections with many other folks in the BIPOC community who all loved plants, too.
Making the link between working with plants and improved mental wellbeing was a vital turning point for Jodianne. So, when she sought a local event to attend that brought those two things together, she was surprised to be unable to find a single one. A friend suggested Jodianne create her own mental health + plants event, and — well, the rest you can learn about in this video we’ve made of our conversation with Jodianne.