Having more greenery and natural aesthetics in the home can have psychological benefits too. Here’s how to incorporate the biophilia trend in the home
From working longer hours to living so much of our lives online, we are all spending more time than ever indoors and away from the natural world, so getting closer to nature has never been more important than it is today. And for this reason, the biophilia trend is becoming more popular. Defined as a love of living things and nature – which many believe humans are born with – ‘biophilia’ as an interiors trend can connect us to the natural environment.
Botanist and horticultural expert, James Wong, has these top tips for homeowners on incorporating this trend into their own living spaces.
1. Stimulate the senses
In a world obsessed by how things look, it can be incredibly easy to be lulled into the impression that the benefits of plants largely come from just admiring their beauty. However, there is evidence for how they can stimulate our other senses, in particular their fragrance.
Gardenia flowers are an easy houseplant to maintain, with white, rose-like blooms and an incredibly uplifting fragrance. Compounds in their flowers, which we absorb through our nasal passages, have been proven to have a mood-enchanting, anti-anxiety effect. More research is clearly needed, so why not test this out at home?
2. Group plants together
One of the best ways to simultaneously reduce your watering, increase plant survival and improve the look of your display is to simply swap your plant collection from being stored in multiple individual pots, to grouping them together in larger pots.
Housed together to create mini gardens in each pot, plants seal humidity around each other. This reduces the amount you need to water and can improve their overall health. Also, if one of the plants dies, you will barely notice as its neighbours will soon grow to fill its space.
Even visually, pots with a variety of plants in each will always work better than a varied collection of lots of tiny pots, each in a different size. This simple trick will benefit you and your plants in almost every way.
3. Experiment and expand
Most houseplants are incredibly easy to propagate. By taking cuttings and seeds from existing plants, you can grow your plant collection for free. Tracking down truly weird and wonderful species can be tricky in your average garden centre, but doing swaps with your plant-loving friends is a great way to track down rare specimens and share your precious finds.
Many species such as philodendrons, epipremnums and dracaenas are eager to grow, and a small cutting will root even in a glass of water in just a week or two. So what is stopping you? Start snipping!
4. Accept that you will make mistakes
I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard it: ‘I’d love to have houseplants, but I killed my last one.’ Timid first timers seem to be somehow paralysed by fear when it comes to bringing the outside in. But things don’t have to be this way!
I have news for you, I have killed houseplants too. In fact, I have killed hundreds. When I get together with my uber-geeky horticulturist friends, what do we talk about? The plants we killed.
You see, no good gardener ever got there without a few dead plants. Just like no good baker hasn’t burnt a few cakes. It’s just how you learn. The trick is simply to see it as an invaluable learning opportunity and a chance to try something new. In gardening there are no mistakes, only experiments. So get experimenting!
James Wong is a Kew-trained botanist, science writer, broadcaster and author and is working with Anglian Home Improvements.
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