Many landscaping enthusiasts turn to gardening indoors, or "interiorscaping" as a way of whiling away the winter months. Your houseplants are your softscape for gardening indoors and will consist of the following:
- Plants native to tropical forests. For instance, using palms for interiorscaping is a way of making bold design statements in your indoor gardening. Few houseplant choices match stately palm trees in this regard, although several make up for it by being relatively indestructible. Caring for the houseplants in this latter category is a great way to begin indoor gardening for those who do not have green thumbs. Some of the outstanding hard-to-kill houseplants are spider plant, snake plant (also known as "mother-in-law tongue") and the common philodendron.
- Winter holiday plants. In the north, when you receive as gifts such plants as poinsettia, Christmas cactus and cyclamen, you cannot, of course, put them outside. So you begin an indoor garden -- whether you had intended to, or not. In addition, cut evergreens are prime materials for interiorscaping during the winter, especially during the holidays.
- Refugees from outdoors. Prized specimens too tender to be left out in winter are often dug out of the garden and brought in until spring. Alternatively, some gardeners grow these plants in containers, so that they can easily be transported indoors or outdoors, depending upon the season.
As landscaping enthusiasts, you know that softscape elements outdoors are set off by hardscape. Although you won't be building a stone wall down the middle of your living room any time soon, indoor gardening does afford more opportunities for using hardscape elements (in the broadest sense) than you might think, including:
- The containers for your houseplants. Sometimes the container style makes all the difference in achieving the indoor gardening design statement that you desire.
- Some aficionados of railroads or Christmas villages will set off the houseplants in their interiorscaping with miniature railroads or miniature Christmas village scenes.
- Don't forget that the indoor gardening equivalent to an outdoor arbor is a door frame. Decorate door frames with garlands of dried plants or evergreens.
- Water features such as indoor water fountains are valued for their soothing qualities in indoor gardening just as much as they are in outdoor gardening.
Care for Your Interiorscaping: It Works Both Ways
Houseplant care is the subject of many a "brown thumb" joke. Indeed, houseplant care can be challenging -- but the care they bestow on us in return makes it all worthwhile. That's right: care. The mental and physical health benefits of having plants around indoors are well-documented.
While the mental health benefits of indoor gardening are difficult to quantify, studies have been done to verify the physical health benefits provided by houseplants. Houseplants help remove toxins from the air, improving indoor air quality. While the research is often cited as a reason for having houseplants at the office, the principle is just as valid at home. Care for your houseplants, and they'll care for you!
The first order of the day in caring for your interiorscaping is to learn about pests that infest houseplants. Page 2 identifies your enemies, then tells you how to fight them....