Best 7 Ideas for Adding a Touch of Nature Indoors
Soon you’ll be putting your garden to bed, reflecting on this year’s triumphs and planning for next year. But why suffer garden withdrawal all winter long when you can extend the season by applying a touch of your horticultural style to your home? Bring some of those precious plants, patio furniture, and accent pieces indoors to complement and enhance your existing decor. This doesn’t mean cramming in every little garden tchotchke. Introducing the garden motif to the rest of your room’s furnishings is a lot like pruning: too much is disastrous but just enough will result in pleasing form and balance. So maybe that concrete frog should stay outside, while a pair of comfortable wooden armchairs “winterized” with tapestry or floral cushions definitely have their place in the living room. And fragile objects, such as marble tables, should be brought indoors to preserve them. But instead of putting them in storage, put them to good use. We’ll show you how.
Why suffer garden withdrawal when you can extend the season?
Overwintering dwarf myrtle (Myrtus communis ssp. tarentina) topiaries flank the fireplace at the hearth and atop the mantle. Mist the foliage frequently to compensate for drier indoor conditions, and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. The topiaries need light but keep them out of the direct sun; a quarter turn every few days will keep them growing straight. Ivies planted at their bases spill over the containers’ square edges, softening their appearance. Zinc containers with curvy lines complement the small hearth while the mantle pots blend with the muted wall color and the white-painted wooden finial accents.
2. Candles & Tropicals Plants
Low-light lovers asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus) and moss fern (Selaginella pallescens) create a forest floor in front of the unused fireplace. Available year-round in stores that stock tropicals, they’re priced modestly enough to green up a large area. When lit, the candles add a moonlight effect, but care should be taken to ensure tropical plants are at a safe distance from flames.
3- Coffee Table with Beautiful Indoor Plants
A sturdy coffee table, constructed from a French cast-iron panel is reminiscent of a garden gate and continues the room’s garden theme. Able to withstand the elements, it could remain outdoors all season but looks right at home in front of the sleek, modern sofa. A pair of cast-iron gates flank the fireplace.
4. Indoor Plants for Kitchen and Office
No need to banish the home office to a dark basement or share your bills with house guests in the spare room. Set up a small area in the kitchen with garden furnishings that have to be stored indoors for the winter; the potting table scrubs up handsomely as a desk, while mini urns function as pencil holders. The iron garden chair, with just the right amount of rust, sports an attractive new cushion, and fits neatly beneath the desk; an oxalis transplanted from a shady spot in the garden thrives in a classic fluted urn.
An antique section of dentil molding provides storage
5. Bathroom Plants, Great Your Own Garden Bathroom
Garden elements are right at home in the Garden bathroom. The pitcher plant (Nepenthes ventricosa) adds some exotica with its pendent, carnivorous flowers and glossy green leaves; it thrives in the bright, humid conditions. New Zealand flax (Phormium ‘Rubrum’), a pricey tender perennial that must be brought indoors for the winter in most parts of the country, also enjoys the sunny room.
An antique section of dentil molding from the early 1900s complements the clawfoot tub and provides storage for “all things bath” with room for a pretty iron accent and wooden finial.
With few feathered friends around needing a soak, an antique bird bath moves indoors and serves as an elegant table while faux moss-covered rocks add color and texture beneath the glass top.
• Bring plants indoors before the weather cools off. That way they’ll be moving into conditions similar to those outside (high air humidity, warm temperatures), so it’ll be less of a shock.
• Before bringing plants in, eliminate any pests or diseases. Hose them down, then spray from top to bottom (including the undersides of leaves) with a mild insecticide, such as insecticidal soap, or a homemade solution of five milliliters of dishwashing liquid in one liter of water.
• Prune overgrown plants heavily as you bring them inside; some may need repotting if they’ve outgrown their summer homes.
• Place plants in the brightest light available, even full sun. Add supplementary light if possible: the more your plants’ winter home feels like Florida, the better they’ll do.
• Use a humidifier or a humidity tray (a tray filled with gravel kept partially filled with water to ensure constant evaporation).
• Stop fertilizing plants once they’re indoors: you don’t want to encourage growth under weak light. Start feeding them again in late February or early March, when light intensity increases.
• Water deeply, but wait until the soil is dry to the touch before watering again.
• Put up sticky traps to catch any
wayward whiteflies and aphids.
Patio plants that make great Indoors houseplants
1 Bougainvillea spp. and cvs.
2 Brugmansia cvs.
3 Lantana camara cvs.
4 mandevilla spp.
5 Banana (Musa acuminata cvs.)
6 Oleander (Nerium oleander cvs.)
7 Zonal geranium (Pelargonium x hortorum)
8 New Zealand Flax (Phormium tenax cvs.)
9 Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae)
10 Tibouchina spp.
Houseplants that make great patio plants
1- urn plant (Aechmea fasciata)
2- american aloE (Agave americana)
3- parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans) and other palms
4- Calomondin orange (x Citrofortunella microcarpa)
5- JAPANESE CYCAD (Cycas revoluta)
6- Dracaena fragrans, D. MARGINATA
7- English ivy (Hedera helix)
8- chinese Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
9- Tree philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)
10- Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides cvs.)