Greener On The Inside
We all know about the health benefits of filling our homes with living plants and greenery – it’s been hard to avoid the topic of curating a ‘green’ interior space that harnesses rest and relaxation over the last year. However, knowing where to start with introducing plants and green habits is often the hardest part. That’s why, in honour of the virtual RHS Chelsea Flower Show week, we’ve collated our favourite tips and tricks on how to successfully cultivate a prosperous indoor garden this spring.
Where to begin?
Starting your journey to become more green fingered can be a little overwhelming with so much gardening information out there. Choosing the right seeds or plants for your intended space can be confusing...
If you are completely new to gardening, herbs are a comfortable choice that are easy to care for and have a delicious outcome! Basil, mint, and lemon balm are all brilliant, and easy, herbs to grow. They can be used in baking, drinks, and cooking, as well as making your home smell amazing.
If you’re not quite ready to grow plants from seeds, another easy place to start is re-growing vegetables from their scraps. Leafy vegetables that grow in heads, such as celery, romaine lettuce and bok choy, are some of the easiest to start with. Simply place your leafy leftovers (root facing down) in water on a sunny indoor windowsill for year-round results. You can also transplant them from water into soil as soon as they show roots and new green growth - we recommend using a decorative, soil-filled container (to compliment your interior) or planting directly into warm garden soil.
Top tip: Plant your scraps so that soil covers the roots and base, but the top of the rooted crop stays exposed.
Good for the mind
As well as enhancing your mood and creating a living area that is soothing to be in, plants can also help with loneliness and depression. Caring for something living gives purpose and is extremely rewarding, especially when you start to see it bloom and thrive.
Plants are not only perfect for living spaces, but in your work area too! Place a plant on your desk in your home office or work area to increase your productivity, improve creativity and reduce your stress levels.
Top tip: The benefits of bringing plants inside are endless - so whether you have a small or large interior, there's almost definitely a space for a little bit of green.
Thinking about composting, but worried about a lack of space? You don’t need a big garden to compost, it's achievable in the smallest of kitchen spaces. Put a small compost bin under your sink, or in a corner next to your general waste bin, making not throwing away food waste a lifelong habit.
Top tip: When using your kitchen for compost, be mindful of what is going in. Items like coffee grounds, small plant-based food scraps, shredded paper and houseplant trimmings are perfect for indoor compost bins. The slightly smellier items, like onion peels, or bits with high water content, such as tomatoes or melons, are great for outside compost bins, if you have one. Have a stash of shredded paper or dry leaves to hand for layering on top of any waste and remember to turn the contents often. It often helps to invest in a compost bin with a sealed lid - to avoid any pungent smells permeating your space.
Tom Raffield team top tips
Healthy plants are happy plants. There is nothing we love more in the Tom Raffield team than a thriving plant. We like to share our own tips and tricks to help our greenery flourish in our space, some a little more eccentric than others!
Make your plants a cup of tea
Not a cup of Earl Grey, of course! The water used to boil eggs in, or banana peels soaked in water, make nutrient rich water that will help your plants grow stronger and healthier.
Did you know... banana water helps to keep fruit flies at bay.
Plants love calcium, so the boiled egg water will provide the calcium needed to keep the soil pH in check. You must make sure to allow the water to return to room temperature before adding it to your plants soil. Add a small splash to each plant, about once a month will be very beneficial.
Keep leaves dust free
A simple, yet very effective tip on keeping your plants healthy is to dust your plant leaves gently, or if you are able, give them a gentle hose down. Dust-free leaves mean that each leaf is able to draw as much goodness and natural light as possible from its surroundings. It also makes plants look more attractive and well kept!
Top tip: Dusting is a good time to carry out a quick welfare check on your plant. A bit of movement and turning will be good for the plant, allowing all angles to get some sunshine.
Read to your plants
This one might sound unusual, but reading your plants a chapter from your favourite book, or an article in a newspaper, has many proven benefits. Not only will the extra carbon dioxide from your breath help your plants grow that little bit extra, being around your plants will also help your mental wellbeing, bringing you some relaxation and a moment of calm. Win win!
As well as this, if you are able to read from a book or newspaper using only the natural light around your plant, this normally means there is enough natural light in that area for your plant to be healthy and happy.