Adding Greenery

adding-greeneryHumans have always brought a little bit of Mother Nature indoors – from fresh cut flowers as a kitchen table centerpiece to bundles of dried herbs hanging from the rafters; the reality is that our species derives a sense of peace and connection when we integrate nature in our living spaces.

One way to do this is to have potted plants and trees in every room of the house. However, there are other, more creative and unique ways to integrate greenery into an interior design.

Unique Ways to Integrate Greenery into Your Home Design

Here are some of my favorite ways to use unusual greenery into your home.

Arrange Willow Branches in a Vase

This time of year, willow trees are just beginning to bud. Have you ever noticed how precious those tiny buds are? They sit like rounded-cones, in proportional distances, along the graceful, winter-bare branches – and each bud is covered with a soft, velvety fuzz.

Here’s the great thing about willows – they contain a plant hormone that promotes rooting. You can stick a cut willow branch into water or soil and roots will begin to sprout within a matter of weeks. Thus, if you make a clean cut, you can pop your beautiful willow branches into a large vase with water – and enjoy them for weeks and weeks – and then they’ll begin to grow roots.

In large, clear vases, your willows will stand tall and proud – looking beautiful on an entryway table, standing in a corner of a dining room or living room, or you can set them in your home’s nature corner. Once you – or they – are ready, transplant each one into gallon pots and keep the soil moist. Voila! You have a willow tree to plant in your own yard and you can give some away as gifts.

Surprise yourself and your guests with air plants

Air plants are pretty trendy these days, but no wonder! It’s like magic to see a plant, thriving in nothing but – seemingly – air. In the “real world,” these adaptable, alien-esque plant forms make themselves at home just about anywhere in and around rain forest canopies. Using just the barest amount of organic material and ample atmospheric moisture – they thrive.

In your home, you can place air plants in an old piece of driftwood on a shelf, in those air plant-specific glass containers – or just about anywhere you think one will look good. Give it a generous mist from a spray bottle once a week or so, and your air plant will thrive. If you’re able – a little peat moss at the base helps to anchor them and give them something to sink their mini-root hairs into.

Plant a bulb and watch it grow

Remember when you were a kid, and the teacher passed out clear plastic cups, soaked paper towels, and a few beans? You lodged the beans between the wet towel and the cup sides, put the cup in the window and watched the bean sprout.

Old or young, it’s pretty neat to watch something go from seed, to sprout, to plant and then flower. You can do the same thing – in a very adult way – with a single plant bulb and a cup or jar of water. Bulbs that work best include daffodils, crocus, tulips, grape hyacinth, snow drop, iris, and hyacinth. The key is to grow it in a vase or glass that is as tall below as the flower will grow upwards since this is the amount of space its developing root system will need.

Be Re-purposeful and revel in succulents

Succulent gardens can be propagated just about anywhere, old teacups, ceramics, terrariums, dangling from other potted planters and so on. To step it up a notch, I recommend making succulent wall panels. These can be built easily using old picture frames, knick-knack shelves or a weathered window frame. All you need is backing, hardware cloth, and some moss. Once it’s rooted (takes about a week or two) the entire thing can be hung on the wall. These make a beautiful greenscape and they’re a fantastic option for rooms that lack a nice view – they serve as a substitute window. The panels can be as small or as large as you want so don’t be afraid to be bold.

Here’s a tutorial on how to Make a Living Succulent Picture, and here’s another fun DIY project for a ladder/hanging succulent garden.

Potted plants are great, but I recommend getting fresh inspiration this spring – using greenery in a whole new way. You’ll appreciate the overall effects. Happy greening!

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