This excerpt of The Little Book of Slow – a guide to slowing down, living more mindfully and savouring the simple joys of life – teaches you to embrace slow decor by growing your own indoor plants.
There are many things that make a house a home – books, fourlegged friends and the smell of something delicious in the oven, to name a few. Also on my list are indoor plants.
While for many people the 1970s are most closely associated with disco, flares and fondue sets, my main memory of growing up in the 1970s is the abundance of indoor plants – rubber plants, aspidistras and monsteras being chief among them. This green jungle left a lasting impression: I was hooked and began my own collection.
Between high school and my thirties I’d lost interest in my former hobby, until one day at a regional library just outside of Hobart I came across the most magnificent and luscious-looking African violet (Saintpaulia species). While transfixed, admiring its splendour, I was offered a number of leaves to propagate, and this successful experiment rekindled my passion for greenery indoors.
Why did I ever stop? Not only do they look great, but also the health benefits of indoor plants are compelling. Physically and psychologically, having plants around our homes helps calm and relax us. They help to filter toxins from the atmosphere and raise our levels of happiness. Indoor plants can also make your workplace a friendlier environment and provide an interesting talking point. Many (like African violets) can be grown from a piece – a terrific way of sharing something meaningful with a good friend or relative. And today, indoor plants are back in style, popping up in every magazine story on home interiors. They soften the starkness of the trendy minimalist look – and, of course, they go beautifully with the retro furniture of the 1970s that’s again the height of fashion. (Makes me feel right at home!)
If you have space, grouping your indoor plants can be very effective (and fun). Choose plants that have similar requirements (e.g., light). Group plants of different heights together – you can also utilise stands to create height differences, or include a retro macramé hanging basket filled with a trailing plant such as spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum). Last but not least, aim for pleasing contrasts of colour and shape.
THREE FAIL-SAFE INDOOR PLANTS
Cast-iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)
Fruit salad plant (Monstera deliciosa)
Wax flower (Hoya species)
Read more in The Little Book of Slow >
Posted on January 16, 2017 by Samantha Lee