Now that the weather's turned cool and the sky's gone grey, it's the perfect time to bring a bit of natural warmth into your home with some indoor plants.
As well as a welcome touch of colour over the winter, adding the rich greenery of something like a monstera or philodendron has proven benefits for your mental health and your memory, and can even improve the air purity of your room. Since we've spent heaps of time indoors lately, we're ready for a refresh, so here's a few ways you can liven up your home and create a calming, beautiful space with some well-chosen plant life.
Give them a fitting home
For all the other benefits, plants are an aesthetic choice first and foremost, and your beautiful green baby deserves a fitting home. They also attract a lot of attention in a room, so it's only wise to choose something that fits with your decor.
The deep green of a siltepecana pairs beautifully with a strong contrasting colour like Arcadia Scott Ceramics' Fluted Planter in a Rust finish, where plants like baby's tears or a jade succulent, with smaller, lighter-coloured leaves, look amazing in a deep colour like the black glaze on Kinto's Plant Pot 192. Those strong colour choices work well in neutral spaces, creating a sense of impact and highlight certain areas of a room, so you can use that splash of green to direct the eye within your space.
For a different kind of natural energy, check out the Aqua Culture Vase from Kinto. Not only is it a gorgeous decor feature in its own right, this beautiful vase lets you see the plant's roots as they grow, revealing a whole other side to your indoor garden. Perfect for growing leafy herbs or nurturing bulbs like garlic and hyacinth, it's a lovely glimpse into the magical process of plant growth that's usually hidden beneath the soil.
The translucent design of the Aqua Culture Vase makes it a more subtle feature, so it pairs neatly with simple, understated plants to add depth and detail to your room without stealing the show.
Spend some time with them
Though your plant might help filter the air on their own, chucking a Devil's Ivy in your lounge room isn't going to do much for your mental health unless you give it some attention. Give it a home that's regularly in your line of sight, whether that's in your kitchen, on your desk or in the centre of your room. I know I didn't become a plant person until a friend gave me a monstera for my desk, and it produced a new shoot that I watched slowly unfurl into a leaf over a few days – now my leafy child Monty is my work-from-home companion, and I check in on him each day.
That kind of care and attention isn't just good for your plant – it helps you, too. Research shows that it's the interaction with your Peace Lilly that makes a difference to your mental health, reducing physiological and psychological stress and providing a soothing break in your day.
Studio Milligram's 'Grow' Life Journal is designed to help you make the most of the time you spend caring for your plant, encouraging you to slow down and appreciate the little details that make plant parenting so special.
On the left page, you can track all the key details like how often it needs watering (even for a forgiving plant like a monstera, "when I remember" is not often enough), as well as all the unique quirks that you get to know over your time together. The right page features Studio Milligram's distinctive Circle Diagram, which is a lightly structured space that you can use in any way you see fit – sketch the new growth that made you smile, keep a regular diary of the plant's moods, write a poem inspired by how the plant makes you feel... it's as personal as the relationship between you and your plant.
Tending to a plant is a creative act, and the Grow Life Journal celebrates that often-overlooked aspect of plant care.
Grow your green thumb
It's ok to admit that we're not all naturals when it comes to plant care – I've got a few cactuses that didn't survive in my home, which is almost impressive in a sad kind of way.
But beyond the practical care required to keep a plant alive, there's also a huge range of ways to style your greenery to decorate your room, so it's handy to start with some inspiration about which plants suit your space, and how you want to arrange them to make your room feel like home. Whether you want to create an indoor jungle, or just want some tasteful verdant accents as highlights, Bree Claffey's Indoor Green – Living With Plants has plenty of answers to your questions, and drool-inducing pictures by Lauren Bamford to get your imagination firing. And unlike so many plant books, Indoor Green features plenty of plants that are readily available in Australia, with ideas and varieties that are relevant to our antipodean aesthetics. Lauren's lush photography is bound to inspire you with all the possibilities of plants, as both a feature in your home and in your life. Before you know it, the question won't be "which plant do I need?" but "now where am I going to fit this one?!".
More than just a lovely decor choice, a carefully-chosen range of plants can warm your home with rich, natural colour, and provide a new creative outlet as well. Don't let the myth of the black thumb put you off – the rewards for attentive plant-lovers are worth the effort, and failure is an important part of learning. Stick with it, put in a little time each day, and you'll soon be surrounded by variegated leaves and verdant greens that'll brighten your day and warm your home.