The hashtag #urbanjungle with photos of houses on the verge of compulsive accumulation has been going crazy on instagram for years. Whether or not you are part of the amazing green thumbs club or are closer to the philosophy of the #normalizednormalhome channel, making the home space greener contributes to the well-being of its inhabitants.
We asked the flower designer Irene Cuzzaniti to give us useful tips on how to decorate different rooms with plants.
Let's start from the entrance
It is a part of the house that is usually little thought of, yet it is the first point that gives guests the first impression of the house and the personality of those who live there. For Irene “this threshold place can be emphasized with a garland of dried flowers or living plants, such as, for example, the peperomia or the ivy. If you have a little space, you can also insert a potted plant. Dark-leaved plants - for example dracena or zamioculcas - are ideal because they are also suitable for less bright environments such as corridors and entrances".
The living room
The living room is the place par excellence for hospitality, the plants make this space warmer and more harmonious. "Be daring with volumes and prefer a huge plant to many smaller plants." Irene advises "If you are not satisfied with a potted plant, an original proposal is kokedama, an ancient Japanese technique of enclosing the soil and the roots of the plant in a spherical vase made of moss, made a delicate hanging garden by the Dutch botanist Van der Valk".
Try to aim for heights: a Ficus Lyrata can grow to become a shrub of considerable size. Have the plants climb or descend from the shelves or play with color combinations, as in the case of the caladium or the maranta.
"The kitchen is usually the hottest room in the house. For this it is necessary to pay particular attention to the choice of plants. A nice idea could be to create a composition of cuttings in recovery jars and unpaired services". For those with children you can involve them in sprouting avocado seeds or potatoes a little bruised while, for the more experimental spirits, why not try a kit of hydroponic culture? There are several on the market, often combined with seeds. These are vases, in which to insert water and support for seeds and substrate, surmounted by a neon that stimulates growth. Aromatic herbs can be grown in all seasons, so that a botanical touch is never missing from the dishes.
For those who have a dedicated room or for those who have set up a space for smart working, inserting plants in the places where you work is a great way to train in the care of greenery. "Those who prefer to surround themselves with more contemplative elements to enjoy a little relaxation between one call and another can opt for miniature terrariums and Zen gardens." - continues Irene - "For those who, on the other hand, want to take advantage of the breaks to take care of more delicate plants, I suggest the calatee or the pilea which need a lot of attention. Even a seedbed can be a stimulus to creativity".
Let's dispel the myth that plants cannot be placed in environments where you sleep. The amount of oxygen they consume is lower than that of any companion who sleeps next to us. "The advice is to favor more resistant plants because it could be a less used environment than the kitchen and living room and you could more easily forget to take care of the plants".
Some advice: Aloe vera, phalanx and the numerous varieties of tradescantia.
Humid place particularly appreciated by orchids, ferns and tillandsie. "As I tell in the book, if he is blind, one can still insert vegetable elements such as mari-mo, an alga discovered in Japan, whose spherical shape is very tender. Placed in a bowl of water it resists even in low light and with a few tricks".
The tour of the house ends by looking outwards. For those lucky enough to have an outdoor space, the advice is to indulge themselves with floral arrangements. Possibly also alternating annual plants with perennials with a more wild taste. It is very fun to dedicate yourself to the care of small vegetable gardens on the balcony with aromatic plants but also vegetables that do not need a lot of land such as tomatoes, salads, aubergines, strawberries and edible plants, simple to grow and perfect for preparing delicious dishes such as purslane, borage or nasturtium.
Bonus track: things to keep in mind when furnishing your home with plants
When choosing a plant to place in the entrance, there are two main elements to consider: light and space. Evaluate the brightness of the environment well to choose the most suitable plant and don't forget that shape and size will vary over time. Humidity or dryness of the environment are also essential to ensure the survival of our plants, but you can run for cover with humidifiers or by choosing plants that are less sensitive to root rot. Take the time to experiment and observe.
Photo cover: Gergely Hideg, Hanging Garden @ GirlsNextDoor