Spending time outside in nature is a hugely important thing to me. I often quote the outdoors as being the place where I feel most alive, make my best decisions, de-stress, and generally reset and recharge. But when we struggle to squeeze even just One Hour Outside in each day, we must look to other things to soften our inside-focused lives and keep our souls happy. Enter some of the basic principles of biophilic design; the practice of bringing nature and its important connection to human well being into buildings.
One of the simplest ways to bring natural elements into our homes is, of course, to fill it with house plants. This is apparently proven to help reduce stress, blood pressure levels and heart rates, whilst increasing productivity, creativity and self-reported rates of well-being. I’m no scientist or expert, of course, but I can certainly testify to real green living stuff being good for me personally.
I’ve tried to keep house plants of all kinds over the years, but to be honest I’ve been very poor at keeping anything alive. But I have managed to keep a Christmas Cactus alive for at least three years, maybe more, and the chilli seed I got from work this time last year seems to have actual buds on it – so maybe the tide is turning for me and my very slightly green fingers? Time to experiment.
I received two grow-your-own indoor plant gift boxes from Find Me A Gift to help in my quest to be a slightly more green-fingered person and bring more greenery into my home. One is a Bonsai Tree Kit, and the other is a Carnivorous Plant Kit. There are a number of these gift sets on Find Me A Gift, a site I’ve used to buy gifts for people over the last few years – they sent me these two kits to see if I can learn something more about brining the outdoors into my home this year.
I started with the Bonsai, the instructions seemed the simplest of the two to get me going. I think I’m right in saying that Bonsai are not particularly easy to grow or look after, so this could be interesting! But thankfully, being a kit, you won’t be surprised to know that planting it up and Planting it up was so simple. The kit came with five plant pots, five soil discs, seeds, and sticks to label the plants. In short, you put the soil disc in the pot and add water until it expands, add the seeds, and then keep everything damp and things should start to grow. Six weeks in and I have one seedling that has sprouted up. I’m also keeping my finger’s crossed that there are others just about to poke through; I remember my chilli seed last year took an absolute age to show itself but once it had it started to look healthy quickly, so I’m rather hoping that will be the case here.
This evening I went through the same process with my Carnivorous Plant Kit, which contains seeds for Pitcher Plant and Venus Fly Trap. There was an additional process with these – I had to keep the seeds in the fridge for a few weeks (hence the delay in planting up), which seemed like ages but I took the advice and am optimistic that I’ll have biting plants very soon.
The Grow It gifts are a great idea; it’s a little more involved than just buying fully grown house plants, but with all the stuff and instructions you need to make growing from seeds super simple. They’re not expensive either – the normal price is £12.99 or £14.99 depending on the kit, so it would make a decent gift for yourself or someone you feel could do with a bit of green in their home. They’re a bit more interesting than your bog standard parsley or basil plants, too, which is a definite bonus. Whether or not mine thrive is yet to be seen – I’ll let you know!
Do you find having house plants at home helps you feel well? What are your favourite house plants? What would you recommend for this trying-to-become green fingered outdoors lover to grow next?
I was gifted two of these plant kits by Find Me A Gift in return for a post on my blog. This is not a sponsored post and I have not been told what to say. I’ll let you know if I get any actual trees or fly-eating plants from my efforts a little further down the line – be sure to follow me on Instagram for updates!