Creating an indoor garden for well-being and health
In the winter months, we spend far too much time indoors. It’s just not that appealing for most people to go outside even if they have a garden. Believe me, I’m talking from experience. Taking the kids out in the winter months is especially challenging: all the layers they need and then coming back into the house with muddy boots and paws- phew!
So, what can you do to not miss out on the benefits of green space? Create an indoor garden.
1. Mental Health Benefits
Countless studies have shown over the years, that plants reduce stress levels, increase concentration and lift the mood. Depending on the function of the room choose the colours of your plants for how you want to feel in this room. A study from Japan has found that dark-green leafy plants achieve a calming effect and yellow, purple and red foliage can energize (RHS- Your Wellbeing Garden). A study from the Uk in 2014 found out that plants improve productivity by 15%. ‘Green’ offices with plants make staff happier and more productive than ‘lean’ designs stripped of greenery, this research shows. Opt for plants that will thrive in your particular room. Does your space lack natural light, choose a shade-loving leafy plant like a fern arum or Chinese evergreen. If the space is sunny, pick succulents and cacti. These plant choices are also low maintenance but don’t prick your finger when watering them occasionally.
2. Improves indoor air quality
Cleaning the air of toxins and altering the humidity, plants can have an immense impact on indoor air quality. In a UK study published in Feb 2022, scientists found out that potted plants reduce Nitrogen dioxide in the air. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a significant pollutant in both outdoor and indoor environments with exposure linked to serious respiratory illnesses, decreased lung function and airway inflammation.
3. Boosts creativity and inspiration
It’s common in interiors to add colour to boost a space where we need to be creative like in an office or workshop. Wall paint and wallpaper can achieve this but it looks surreal when the brain doesn’t have a reference point like a natural object. In this case the plant grounds the colours in a natural way and the green puts the other colours of the room in perspective. Have also fun with your selection of pots to add character. Group potted plants of different sizes and shapes together and achieve a fascinating display to boost creativity. Add hanging plants or climbers to draw the eye to the ceiling and walls. One of my favourite shops and for biophilic inspiration is Justina Blakeney’s shop jungalow.
Photo credit: Justina Blakeney instagram
Best plants for creating an indoor garden
When it comes to choosing your plants for your space you also should consider texture, colour and shape. What shape and texture is appealing to you when you sit in your home office? Which plant would you like to see in your dining area? The more you throw into the mix the more effective the plant display is to relax, reboot and take your mind in the ‘Here and Now’. Boston fern and fern arum have fascinating leaves. A snake plant can add structure with its architectural and long, leathery leaves. If you are short for space, use hanging pots with spider plants near a window. Succulents and cacti are great companions on sunny windowsills, but keep them out of reach from pets or small children.
Don’t just think about the plant itself, consider different textured pots to bring in some interest. The material of the pot can vary too, e.g. bamboo, seagrass, clay, terracotta add character to the room.
The best thing about creating an indoor garden is that there are no rules, except for one: it has to bring you joy!
I hope you got some tips in this blog post that helps you to create your own indoor garden. If you want to know more about biophilic design check out this blog post here.