Flora to Help You Flourish
I'm going to ask you to reach back into your memory banks for a moment... do you remember Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year – Greenery?
I suppose I’m lagging behind… A late bloomer, if you will. Here it is, years later and I am finally jumping on board. Not necessarily with the color itself, but the inspiration. I am filling my home with GREENERY – plants and flowers of all kinds.
My love of plants and growing things goes back to childhood. Grandma T always had plants in her house. I can picture her kitchen window lined with African Violets - a philodendron snaking its way around the window, and a spider plant taking over one corner of the front porch, an asparagus fern in the other.
Maybe this is what makes me believe plants help a house feel like a home.
Not only are they beautiful, using plants inside your home and/or office has far reaching benefits for your physical and psychological health as well.
Studies show having a plant in your office or on your desk helps you to be more productive, the act of cultivating a plant can reduce stress and has even been shown to help trauma victims’ psychological state during recovery, the presence of plants and flowers in hospital rooms promotes healing – and so much more (https://ellisonchair.tamu.edu/health-and-well-being-benefits-of-plants/).
Even if you are robustly healthy and never feel stressed or overwhelmed (if that is you, I really need to have a chat to find out how you do it!) having plants in your workspace help you to be more creative and productive – how is that not a winning proposition?
If you’re one that says you can’t grow anything – try one (or more) of these easy to care for plants and you will soon understand how quickly they can improve your space.
When I was a kid, I knew this plant as 'Mother In Law's Tongue'. I suppose that isn't politically correct these days. Although, I don't have a Mother In Law, so theoretically I'm not offending anyone with that reference.
No matter how it came by this nickname, this is one hardy specimen - and I am more than happy to share my home with it.
If you say you can't take care of a plant - give this one a try.
Set it on your desk, or a shelf, water it every week or two and it will surprise you with how quickly it multiplies.
Now, I will admit - I have always called this plant a philodendron (another plant with over 400 varieties you can add to your 'easy care list'). Now, I have discovered that is also know as the Money Plant!
No matter the official name - you will likely call it your favorite.
They are nearly fool proof. If you provide dappled or indirect light and weekly watering, this little gem will go crazy.
Pinch the long vines back to help it fill out, or let it stretch itself around the room.
Solid or variegated, this prolific little plant will bring a smile to your face.
Delicate stems show off tiny blooms that give way to miniature 'spiders' that will sprout roots and become a new plant if you wish.
Consider this a horticulture version of Friendship bread - give one little piece away and it will take on a whole new life - and provide more startups - for the whole neighborhood!
Keep it damp (not wet) and out of direct light. Give it a shower ever now and again to help it flourish.
No matter your level of plant expertise, please do not leave them in the pot you buy them in. Modern, rustic, simple, or novel - clay, ceramic, woven, and resin – the dollar store to custom creations – style, material, and price points abound.
If you want to be a bit more creative – there is no limit to what can be used as a container. Go to your local Habitat Restore (https://www.habitatventura.org/restore/), thrift store, or yard sales and think outside the box.
In addition to house plants, I find growing my own vegetables very rewarding. However, the way I have designed my yard, it is not conducive to a traditional garden area. I mix tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers into my flower beds and it provides a bounty of basic veggies for myself and a few neighbors. However, I have always longed for a salad garden.
Can you imagine lush lettuces, spinach, kale, and other greens, and herbs right outside your door. What if you didn’t even have to step outside?
A friend of mine from high school, Barbara Boyd, told me about the most amazing tower garden you have ever seen.Convenient, compact, and eco-friendly – what else could you ask for?
“The Tower Garden by Juice Plus+ allows you to grow inside or outside year-round, using only about 10% of the space you would need for a dirt garden and 98% less water, making it an earth-friendly sustainable growing system suitable for small scale growing at your home, or larger scale growing in schools, community gardens, rooftop city gardens, or restaurants. Research shows that a Tower Garden can grow 30% more produce 3% faster than traditional gardening. Produce is fresh and nutrient dense and there is no digging or weeding with the Tower Garden. I’ve enjoyed 6 years of growing indoors all year long and outdoors during the spring, summer, and fall, and I am amazed at how much produce I can grow for my family”!
Get your own by going to her website: https://barbaraboyd.towergarden.com/
There are versions for inside and outside – I can’t wait to get one set up and start noshing on my own mega garden.
Catch the magic of spring and embrace your own version of Greenery – from cut flowers at the supermarket, a small succulent on your desk, or go all out with an edible garden in your dining room.
Tell us your favorite ways to invite more color and life into your space.