As we lose outside space, it’s time to be more inventive with house plants

17 October 2016

Reading the Waitrose Weekend paper yesterday, an article caught my eye and raised my spirits: ‘House plants are back in fashion, bringing indoor spaces to life, naturally’.

As an interior landscaper, I have always had plants around the home, and I sometimes forget that these days that it’s not common to do so these days: it seems that house plants have fallen victim to changing fashions for interiors, as well as our increasingly busy lives.

However, they needn’t be time-consuming if you choose right, and I believe their good looks and health benefits should mean they really should have an long-term place in our homes.

What’s more, we are losing outside green space in the form of smaller gardens and few parks, so we need to find new ways to keep nature close.

home planting schemes

The Waitrose article looks at a new book by Isabelle Palmer, also known as The Balcony Gardener, who designs planting schemes for people with small outdoor spaces but who want to still have plants around the home. The book, simply called ‘House Plants’, offers advice on which plants to choose for your home and how to look after them.

The book’s publicity blurb states that ‘Isabelle Palmer shows you how to create gorgeous terrariums and hanging gardens, and how to grow under glass and plant vertically, with helpful advice and techniques, as well as handy tips for taking care of your new house plants. Grow and display amazing aquatic plants in a deep vase, create a stunning fireside moss and fern display, group a variety of beautiful orchids in bright colours on a shelf and plant some tiny jewel-like succulents for an easy and on-trend kitchen window scene.’

As the description shows, there are so many different ways of having plants around the home, and they don’t necessarily need a lot of care to stay looking good, either.

It comes out at a time when sales of indoor plants for the home are on the rise: Waitrose alone has seen a 10 per cent rise in plants in ceramic pots and baskets over the past year.

It’s something we’ve also noticed and, while a large proportion of our clients are businesses, we are increasingly being contacted by people wanting planting schemes around their home. Some simply want us to use our experience to select the right plants for their indoor living space, others want us to look after them as well. We love doing planting schemes for the home: plants bring an instant calming presence to the home and there are so many species of plant and types of container on the market now, we can always find something to suit the space.

Live indoor plant displays - Private Residence

Certainly, house plants are no longer confined to the odd spider plant or peace lily in the corner of the room, as was the fashion a few decades ago. Now, as with office plants, there are so many inventive ways to display plants in the home that they can become a real feature of your interior decor.

Looks aside, there are also real health benefits to having plants around the home. I have talked many times about how indoor plants can “scrub” the air of many of the harmful toxins emitted by modern furnishings, paints and office equipment, and this applies equally well to the home.

What’s more, just by seeing a plant, and better still, regularly tending it, your are more likely to be less stressed, more productive and generally feel happier. They also help reduce incidences of sore throats and headaches – something to consider as we go into winter.

As the weather gets fresher and we spend more time indoors, it is a great, and easy, health boost to bring some nature indoors with us in the form of a plant or two. Gardens and parks may be on the decline, but there is always a place for a plant.

Check out some of our stunning planting schemes for private homes here.