The Power Of Plants In A Family Home
Plants add life, colour and beauty to a room. They're the perfect finishing touch. Not to mention the fact that there are so many gorgeous pots and planters on the market to make our homes look pretty. Terrariums are hugely popular with succulent fans, macramé workshops making pot holders are popping up everywhere and garden centres have become cool places to hang out - take a look at Petersham Nurseries, for example.
There's no getting away from it; we're a nation in the midst of a love affair with the humble houseplant. But if you're wondering about the benefits of plants in a family home, here's why we think you should be filling your rooms with them in 2019.
HEALTH & HAPPINESS
First and foremost, did you know that houseplants can have an amazing impact on your health and happiness? They improve the air quality in homes by filtering out toxins. This means that just by popping a couple of plants in each room, you and your family could be breathing in cleaner air.
And in her book, Happy by Design (which is a brilliant read, by the way), interiors expert, Victoria Harrison, writes, 'Several scientific studies have revealed that plants in an indoor environment can also lower blood pressure, reduce stress and impact our overall health in a positive way.'
It really makes you wonder how houseplants ever fell out of fashion after being hugely popular in the 1970s. They should be lining every single sill and shelf.
There's also no denying that aesthetics play a part in the new-found popularity of houseplants. A quick scroll through instagram and you'll spy trailing ivy tumbling from hanging planters, large-leaved monsteras looking tall and important in living rooms and peace lilies sitting prettily on desks in home offices.
If you're after inspiration, one of the most influential instagram accounts to follow is @urbanjungleblog and the #urbanjunglebloggers hashtag. If you're yet to be converted to the beauty of houseplants, be prepared for an immediate change in opinion. The stunning images will have you running to your nearest garden centre in no time at all.
Furthermore, here at GLTC, we're very much of the opinion that if the top of your sideboard is covered in beautiful, leafy greenery, it's a great distraction from the toys covering the floor.
A houseplant of their very own to look after could also help to develop your child's nurturing skills. Obviously, you need to be careful about which plant you choose - particularly with toddlers who are prone to putting things in their mouths - as some are toxic.
House Beautiful offers twelve great recommendations from the colourful Barberton daisy to the slightly scarier Venus fly trap - a plant that's featured in a lot of children's books so potentially a winner with children who enjoy darker stories.
Keeping a plant watered, in the best possible light, and ultimately alive is a wonderful challenge for a child, particularly for one who would like a pet of their own, too. It's a good first test. Although we know adults who have a lot more success with pets as opposed to plants, so don't take our word for it.
We mentioned the lure of garden centres earlier, but how about setting up a mini version at home? Children love role play and to recreate experiences that they've had outside of the home. The Sixpence Play Shop would look amazing decked in beautiful blooms and leafy houseplants. And don't forget the cookies ... no trip to the garden centre is complete without a cup of tea and a biscuit.
If you don't have the space for a play shop, how about a tea trolley come plant stand? The Time for Tea trolley has so many uses. Let children collect up their favourite plants and incorporate them in to their games - but maybe put a mat down if you're worried about soil on your carpet. The trolley is made from sturdy wood and has four smooth-running castors, so you could even think about taking it outside to transport pots of outdoor plants to their new homes in the garden.
CURIOSITY & LEARNING
After tending to and playing with plants, it's only natural for curiosities to be piqued. There are some amazing books for children that explain all about the seasons, what to grow, when to grow it and how to look after what you grow. Our favourite is Nature's Day. It's both informative and beautifully illustrated. Perhaps more outdoors focused rather than looking at the power of indoor plants, but we think young (and old) ones will love it all the same.
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