Each of us, caught in the humdrum of daily living, dream of going back to a simple life one day… a life that is enveloped in the arms of nature. Urban lifestyle is unfortunately measured in square feet and our abodes just about fulfil our basic requirement of a small living space.
But with some clever planning, you can have a piece of your own green patch growing in your home. An indoor garden or an interior garden is an attractive yet functional way of adding greenery to every room in your living space. It will improve your overall wellbeing and let you connect with nature like never before.
If you are wondering how you will find the time for this additional maintenance, don’t worry. Here, we present some easy and interesting ways for you to start with your indoor garden without delay.
Considered to be a nifty way of creating a home garden in a small space, your vertical patch of green can grow both perennials and edibles. Your green wall can be freestanding or can be mounted on an existing free wall. Start by where you want to place the wall garden. Choose a wall that offers suitable growing conditions with sunlight – that’s about it!
While frames can be custom built for you by a vertical garden expert, you can create it yourself too with wooden sticks, a plastic sheet (which keeps the water off the walls) and fabrics that can retain water without rotting.
The most important part of your vertical wall garden is its irrigation system. It is best if you can consult an irrigation supplier as you will also need to connect the system with liquid fertilizers for your plants. Choose native plants that are most likely to do well in your weather conditions. Your kitchen wall filled with different herbs can be a perfect way to bring ‘farm fresh’ to your table!
There are several pieces of foldable contemporary furniture available in the marketplace, to add practical style to your home garden. They utilise space cleverly and look charming too. From a wide shelf ladder to wall units to side tables, you can use each of them uniquely to display plants. Wooden or cane furniture provides the best in terms of look and durability to showcase indoor gardens.
Everything from your dining table to your living room’s centre table can be great for showcasing plants. When placing plants on furniture, you will need to keep a decorative plate or sheet underneath the pot to catch excess water or any other leaks. Keep in mind to choose plants of varying heights when showcasing them on a ladder.
For walls and areas that may not receive a lot of sunshine, you can choose to install ‘grow lights’. The confusion lies in the fact that there are many types of grow lights available in the market. Here is a quick look at your options. Blue light is perfect for encouraging a bushy growth. Red light is believed to trigger a bloom. Try to choose ones that don’t emit a lot of heat though. Incandescent lights are the least expensive, but tend to produce heat. Corrected incandescent bulbs are quite handy for growing a small group of plants. It may also last up to 1000 hours.
Among fluorescent glow lights, blue fluorescent light is the most preferred among indoor garden owners. It is energy efficient, lasts up to 20000 hours, doesn’t emit much heat, and is perfect for germinating seeds.
LED lights are chosen because they weigh only a fraction of the other lights, and are available in varying sizes. Since your plant will grow towards the light, it is a good idea to have adjustable hangers to maintain the correct distance between the two.
The best indoor plants are those that can be maintained easily and can thrive well with minimum sunlight and water. What plants you choose depends on your purpose for having the indoor garden. Some plants improve the quality of the air indoors and provide a better breathing environment for us. Others release oxygen at night, making them ideal for your bedroom. Edible greens make a perfect addition to any indoor kitchen garden.
The most commonly recommended plants for indoors include Aloe vera, snake plant, English ivy, peace lily, rubber tree, bamboo, money plant varieties, spider plant and dracaena to name a few. Of these, plants like dracaena and money plant (also known as pothos) can even be used for vertical walls.
For your kitchen it is best to grow a herb garden in pots or jars. Varieties of mint, basil, chillies, curry leaves, oregano, thyme and rosemary are good and delectable choices.
Hanging planters is a great way to add a new dimension to the greenery in your room. It is even better if you can select unusual designs for your pots, as it can add a lot of drama to your room décor. Hanging planters are selected not only for their beauty but also when you want to optimize floor space without compromising on your interior greenery. Before your start, make sure you select the right kind of soil and pots that do not leak when watered. Take a hint from this stunning hanging garden by Studio Noun, interior designers and decorators from Netherlands.
‘Overflowing’ plants such as pothos, donkey’s tail (sedum morganianum) and button roses are perfect for hanging where there is good sunlight available. However, you can also try plants like dwarf lavenders that can add colour to your room.
Waste not, want not. None of the edible elements in your house should reach the garbage bin. Everything from vegetable waste to processed food can be recycled to create nutritious compost for your home garden.
Recycle old watering cans, bottles and buckets too, to grow your plants. Or maybe, a pair of your old boots which you no longer wear. Just clean them, add a fresh coat of paint if required, and fill them with soil and organic manure to grow your indoor greens!
Having an indoor garden is a life-enriching experience. When you plant a seed, it is a hope for tomorrow. A hope that permeates your home, and adds life and beauty to everything it touches. Now drop that excuse of space constraint, and invite nature inside today! For more inspirations, here is another ideabook you can go through – 5 indoor garden ideas for a small home.