By. Elayne Kershaw
Outdoor gardens have always been cultivated to display plants and other forms of nature for our pleasure and enjoyment. Gardens have other practical functions, too, such as growing fruits and vegetables, but they primarily enable us to retain that sense of being close to nature and beauty, especially because the demands of the modern world require us to spend so much time in the home or office.
Robbin Ward, a horticulturalist and owner of A Passion for Plants, articulates some of the other lesser-known benefits of plants, which explains why we should try to have them indoors with us as well.“The presence of plants in the workplace helps employees by reducing stress levels and increasing productivity,” she said. “Plants are also great for cleaning the air so employees can breathe easy.”
Ward designs and creates interiorscapes for the office, as well as hospitals, hotels and restaurants. Kim Raney at Rockledge Garden Center, who has also worked on several projects with Ward, promotes the therapeutic value of plants in the home. “They make us feel serene and peaceful,” explained Raney. “They’re good for the soul. Having plants in your home helps you remain at one with nature. They break down the artificial barrier created by the walls of your home.”
Not everyone can have their own version of Eden outside their home or office. Some people live in apartments with no outside area at all.
Disabled people might not be able to manage the initial set up or the ongoing maintenance. Second-home owners in Florida may only visit occasionally, but they still want something that will thrive despite minimal input. The indoor garden is the ideal solution for all these situations.
If you’re a complete gardening novice or don’t feel you have sufficient horticultural knowledge to undertake the task yourself, local specialists like Ward and Raney can help you design the perfect indoor garden for your needs. They will take into account the amount of light available, the décor, the dimensions of the space and the angles of view that will be available. You can have anything from an enclosed miniature garden to a grand set piece, complete with waterfalls, ponds, fountains and rockeries. Lights, mirrors, stones and ornaments can also be cleverly incorporated to create a specific theme. They also know which plants thrive best in which interior environments, and they can even create an alternating color display throughout the year. In February, orchids, begonias, peace lilies and anthuriums are all excellent choices, along with lots of general greenery.