Love Plants and Greenery but Only Have a Small Garden?
Not everyone has a large garden. Indeed, some people do not have a garden at all. It is estimated that one in eight people in Britain do not have a garden, and 10% of Australians.
But having a small garden or no garden does not mean that we cannot live a life surrounded by beautiful greenery.
Greenery and plants are good for our mental and physical health.
The Benefits of Having Plants Around Your Home
Plants have been linked to –
- Improved mood
- Increased production
- Reduced stress
- Increased attention and focus
- Reduced blood pressure
- Less headaches
- Reduced fatigue
In hospitals, they have even been found to reduce reported pain after operations.
Plants have also been found to reduce air pollution.
Research suggests that 4 million people die each year of indoor air pollution. Sick building syndrome can also affect how a person feels, leading to –
- Nose and throat irritation
- Irritation and dryness on the skin
Plants can help to remove these chemical compounds in the environment.
How To I Get More Plants Around Me?
Not everyone can, or wants, plants and greenery in their home or outdoors. This does not mean that they cannot experience the benefits of nature.
- If you live close to fields or greenery or a park, staring out at open spaces can be beneficial. Not everyone is that lucky though, but there are other methods of bringing greenery and plants to you.
- Put up photos or drawings of nature.
- Watch documentaries about nature.
- Find images from nature for a screen saver on your computer or phone.
- Sculptures from word or natural products can also be beneficial to our health.
But, having a small garden or no garden at all does not mean that you cannot have plants and greenery around your house.
An increasing popular and beautiful trend is that of vertical gardening.
Vertical gardening means growing up rather than the way we normally would, that is horizontally on the ground. With vertical gardening, we can grow up walls, fences and our homes.
With trellis or wiring, some plants can be encouraged to grow up vertical surfaces. For example, Mexico City has used vertical gardening techniques to improve traffic pillars, growing greenery up their vertical surfaces. Many towns and cities have areas of vertical gardening today.
Why Develop a Green Wall or Roof?
Green walls and roofs can
- Turn a lack of space into an extensive garden
- Cover up ugly walls or roofs
- Create an urban sanctuary
- Improve the physical environment by reducing pollution, glare and reduce temperatures
- It can also be a way to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs
Simple or More Advanced?
Vertical gardening can be simple, such as hanging baskets or growing climbers up a wall.
Or it can be more complex and sophisticated, such as trellis and wiring along the outside of the home or building to create literally green walls. Or using roof gardens.
Vertical gardening techniques can be a simple and easy way to bring greenery to your home.
Interior plants are another way to bring more greenery and nature into your home. In your home, you can plant flowers and plants into pots to decorate your home, bringing nature inside.
The first thing to remember about indoor plants is that they aren't really indoor plants (plants do not grow indoors in nature!). Indoor plants are simply plants which we have found to be adaptable to an indoor environment.
Usually, an inside environment will differ from an outside one in the following ways:
- It has lower light intensities
- It is warmer in winter and cooler in summer
- In some rooms (eg. kitchen, bathroom, laundry), humidity can get high
- The balance of gases in the air is different: (particularly damaging with gas heaters or air conditioning).
While many indoor plants originate in tropical areas, this is by no means the case for all. The natural environment for tropical plants is usually wet, humid and hot. If those plants are placed in an indoor environment which is cooler and less humid then wetness must also be reduced.
Over-watering is a common problem with tropical indoor plants being grown in temperate regions.
The best rules are:
- use a freely draining soil
- Water thoroughly once and then do not water again until the soil is absolutely bone dry.
- In some situations, this might mean watering once every three months, in other situations once a day.
- The rate of watering is influenced by factors such as temperature, soil type, humidity and cannot be put down to a regular timetable. For example, you cannot just assume that once a week watering is right for every plant in all conditions.
Good plants for inexperienced indoor gardeners include –
- Peace lily
- Cast iron plant
- Air plants
- Snake plant
But the options are many and varied.
Want to Know More?
If you are interested in learning more about interior plants, why not have a look at our Interior Plants course.
Or if you are interested in spreading greenery around your home, but have no garden or a small garden, why not have a look at our Green Walls and Roofs course for inspiration.
Or we also have a self paced 20 hour course to help you understand more about farming and gardening vertically HERE