Plants are “in” at the moment, but have you thought of literally bringing them in? By which I mean, taking your outdoors garden and bringing (some of) it inside? Many people take their more fragile plants inside during the winter, but you could even go so far as to propagate new plants from cuttings of your existing ones, and see if you can have a smaller version of your outside garden to enjoy indoors! Here are some examples of how to create your own indoors garden, starting from the most banal to the weirdest ideas I found:
● Herb garden
I love picking up a basil plant from the supermarket to make fresh pesto, or a coriander plant for fajitas, but they always seem to give up the ghost after a couple of weeks. Now, this may be due to improper care, and I think we’d take our kitchen windowsill herb garden a lot more seriously if we took these plants out of their dinky plastic pots, repotted them and bought a variety of them all at once. Taking care of a herb family has proven more successful for me than a couple of lonely plants. And the good thing is, you won’t use all or even some of them every week, so they will grow and grow until a lovely fragrant mix meet your nostrils every time you water. Good herbs for planting indoors are basil, coriander, rosemary, parsley and lavender.
Flowers are a ubiquitous presence in gardens and homes, but as with herbs, I have found that they don’t survive indoors that long. However, some flowers do very well indoors (in sunny rooms, of course). It is a case of choosing the right ones and taking care of them properly. In order to do this, it’s a good idea to research which plants need similar types of soil, light and care. This way, you can streamline your watering routine and not have to worry too much about them. Some flowers that have been proven to thrive indoors include geraniums, petunias, begonias, marigolds and pansies. These are also very colourful flowers so make an excellent decorative addition to your interior!
● Vegetable patch
Having a vegetable patch is a dream for some, but we don’t all have the right soil type or lighting qualities in our gardens. Many people opt for raised beds, but an alternative is to bring your veggie plants inside! A big consideration is light, so if this is something you want to do seriously, you’ll probably need an artificial light like compact fluorescent systems or high intensity discharge bulbs. These provide the light that plants need to grow, especially if they are producing veggies. Vegetable growing plants that can thrive indoors include kale, carrots, onions, tomatoes (cherries are especially suited to this environment) and beans. A fun idea could be to put your bean plants on either side of a window so that they get enough light, and have them wind up a pole on both sides, decorating and framing the space naturally!
Wouldn’t it be just amazing to be able to pick some berries each morning, fresh off the bush and into your blender? Berry bushes can be fragile, and susceptible to pests. Thankfully, you can try growing them indoors under more controlled conditions! Strawberries and blueberries are best suited to indoor conditions but do need plenty of light. Blueberries benefit from an acidic soil and need monthly feeding. They do fine in a pot as long as their soil quality is properly managed! Strawberries also need lots and lots of light (if you can invest in lighting that is ideal). They do well with frequent watering and trimming dead or old leaves is very beneficial.
Nowadays it is very trendy in the interior design world to build a house around a tree, where it’s structure is integrated into the architectural design of the building. This is not at everyone’s disposal unfortunately, but you can satisfy your desire for trees without knocking the roof down! If you have a particularly bright spot, even citrus plants can do well indoors! For them to produce fruits, however, you will have to pollinate the flowers. This is not that difficult but does require some care and attention. Other popular indoor trees are rubber plants, birds of paradise (which grow very large and produce amazing blooms in 3 or 4 years) and even the common fig tree which may be able to produce fruit, as its flowers do not need pollination.
It is very important to prune indoor plants as they will not thrive if they grow too big. Another option is to move your indoor plants outdoors after they are fully grown, though they will need to be “hardened off” or acclimatised to the harshness of outdoor conditions before they can continue to grow there. Here are five ways you can bring the garden into your home, so you can enjoy their natural beauty even if you have limited garden space, inhospitable outdoor conditions or simply want convenient access to fruits and herbs!