It has been a little while since I have written in my blog. You would think I would have had plenty of time in our couple of months of quarantine. I found myself during that time, taking care of only things I could control. My family and I hunkered down at home when news of the pandemic hit. My focus was on them and making our nest as safe as possible. For me, my home is my sanctuary, and it comforts me in times of turmoil.
Like most of the world, we were forced to spend time together, sharing meals and talking through our fears of what was happening in the world. We were in the middle of building our new home, planning on attending our Son's wedding, and concerned about family members not living with us.
It all came to a halt with the "virus", and we were forced into togetherness. For me, It made me pause, and wonder how did we get so busy? What can we learn from this? My hope is that we will have a better perspective of what is important. I know we will get back to normalcy, but how can we be successful and find balance at the same time? This is not a new concept of course, so let's start with plants.......
TAKING CARE OF A PLANT
I have always had a plant or two in my homes. Most of the time, they looked sickly and I would end up throwing them out. It was a combination of having it the wrong location or watering too little or too much. I went through a few years of not having any plants because of this. Several years ago, I started noticing plants showing up in Interior design. So I went and bought a large tree ( I don't recall the name of it) to put in a corner in my living room in Arizona. Slowly I bought more to fill up corners or spaces that needed a little something. I was more attentive to these plants, and they did ok, but I still felt that if one brown leaf appeared that It was a lost cause, so I would throw it out. Talk about having little faith and no patience!! Not to mention a waste of money. When I moved back to Colorado, I gave my remaining living plants to a friend, because I didn't want to move them.
In Colorado I met a friend who had quite the green thumb. She had beautiful plants in her home, and she actually cared about them! Every time I went to her house I felt something I couldn't describe until I started putting plants in my own home. I started with a Fiddle Leaf Fig because that was all the rage in design. In fact, It was hard to find, because it was so popular. It was small and sickly and I didn't pay much for it. I don't think I trusted myself to keep it alive. I purchased a few other plants and learned that all they need is adequate light and once a week watering depending on the season. The succulent craze hit, and then I found myself jumping in on that trend. Those were trickier, but I have managed to keep some of those alive. When you purchase a plant, a good rule of thumb is to read the care instructions before taking it home. You will know how much light, fertilizer and watering is needed.
THE BENEFIT OF PLANTS
Plants improve mood, provide a sense of calm, and may improve the air quality in your home. They make you feel close to nature, which has been proven to help with anxiety and stress. They also help to lower blood pressure and improve cognitive function. A couple of years ago, someone very close confided in me that he was suffering from unbearable anxiety. He could not think of anything else but that. I advised him to buy a few house plants. I knew how my plants helped me to find calm, and I thought It might work for him.
He took my advice and now grows plants from seed and has a massive outdoor garden. Plants can help to provide distraction and a feeling of caring for something, which will help improve your mood.
If you live somewhere where you have harsh winters, indoor plants are wonderful for the winter time blues.
They tend to go dormant during this time, so will need less watering. Indoor plants provide a green landscape in your home and bring you back to nature, when everything is brown and leafless outside.
I move some of my plants around depending on what season and where the sunlight is coming in. I no longer discard a plant for a brown leaf or two. I simply cut that leaf off and give it a little more attention, buy either moving it, changing how much or little I water it, or add a little fertilizer. Given a chance, most plants can come back if you are patient.
PLANTS AND INTERIOR DESIGN
Using plants in interior design became a huge trend in 2016. As I mentioned earlier, the Fiddle Leaf Fig was
So popular, you could not find it anywhere. I found mine at Home Depot after checking everywhere, There was only one. It was small and almost dead. I still have it, and it has flourished. I have two of them now and love how they add height to a space. Layering your plants in different heights in groups of three makes any space look well put together. You can use various sizes of plant stands or levels that resemble steps to achieve this look. For those who like a minimalistic approach, you can still bring nature inside, by not grouping your plants together. Placing a snake plant in a simple pot or having a few small succulents sprinkled around would fit your design style.
If you have good light in a bathroom, adding plants will give a feeling of having a spa in your own house.
They will also love the humidity! I have plants in every room, They not only make me feel peaceful, but help fill in what was once an awkward space, or add balance to a room that needs texture or height.
I don’t know the scientific names of any of my plants. I usually pick out what I think will look good in my home. I am by no means an expert! I just know how they make me feel, and when it is a watering day, I catch myself slowing down and enjoying nature in my own home. When I take those moments to slow down it helps ground me to what really is important. I hope this inspires you to go and get your first plant, or start nurturing the ones you already have. You may be surprised at the benefit plants provide you and others that come into your home.
In our fast paced video driven world, I appreciate the time it takes to read a blog. But that is also a way of slowing down isn’t it?
Thanks for reading.