Envionmental Psychology

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Connect with Nature: Bring the Outdoors Inside with Plants

By Jeanette Joy Fisher

There's a lot of talk about green living nowadays, and bringing green plants into your home can be a wonderful decorating idea. You can create lush indoor landscapes relatively easily, without spending a lot of money.

People have been bringing plants into their homes and using them as part of their decoration schemes for thousand of years. That makes sense, because people simply feel closer to nature with plants nearby.

Plants require some attention, of course, but they can be therapeutic, especially during the winter months, giving gardeners a regular "plant fix" until the weather breaks in the spring. There are also other health benefits to having plants in the house, as well. They emit oxygen and remove pollutants from the air, thereby improving air quality inside the home.

From a decorating standpoint, houseplants provide both color and texture to a home's decor, and can be used to either augment a color scheme or to cover areas that aren't particularly to your liking. For instance, trailing plants such as English ivy can be used as wall or window treatments by installing a high shelf that allows the ivy to cascade downward. Enhance the stunning effect with a plant light to keep the plant happy.
If you prefer a tall plant to create an effect in a room, consider the classical Kentia palm. which tolerates small containers and tolerates the soil drying out a bit. An excellent choice for an interior palm. the Kentia prefers some direct light through a window, but doesn't need bright light. Kentias, available in both tall and bushy varieties, create a dramatic focal point to a decorating scheme. Add an uplight, and you've created a dramatic effect with exotic shadows.

Plants can also be hung in planters from the ceiling and allowed to cascade. One popular plant for creating that kind of effect is the spider plant, which develops long tendrils. Such plants can be quite lovely when suspended near large windows as part of an overall window treatment.

Choosing various textures for your planters can also add drama and accent to your home's decor. You can find planters made of many different materials; ceramics and clay are the most common, but a clay planter can be wrapped in jute, hemp, or other material to give it a strikingly different look. You can also use different types and colors of material to suspend your planters, giving you even more decorating options.

Connect with nature simply by cutting leaves and branches from your garden. Arrange cuttings simply in a tray of water sitting on a piece of wood. You can even use small potted plants as accent pieces on kitchen counters, on a mantle in the living room, on the coffee table in the family room, or on a bookshelf in the den.

 Wherever you choose to use them, plants can provide extra drama, warmth, texture, and color to your home's decor. Plus, plants keep you indoor air fresh while connecting you to nature.

Waterwise Xeriscaping


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