Category Archives: Garden

21 Small Indoor Plants for Apartment Living

Houseplants are a tried and true way to bring vibrant color to your home and to bring nature inside. Not to mention, plants are a great way to purify the air in your home.

Big and beautiful philodendrons and majesty palms are perfect for adding the finishing touch to any room and for filling in empty corners and walls. However, huge plants like that aren’t always the best for tiny apartments and less-than-spacious homes. Thankfully, there are plenty of choices for small indoor plants that can help provide the right touch of green without taking up a large chunk of your room!

Small plants, like succulents and air plants, are perfect for adding greenery to your desk or your nightstand. Slightly bigger plants like peace lilies can take up some floor space, but they won’t overwhelm any corner of the room with lush leaves or big roots.

The best part about most small potted plants is that they can fit almost anywhere in your home. You can even get creative! Think about adding some cute plants in unexpected places like near your bathroom window, in a hanging planter or even on your wall with a space-saving vertical wall garden!

21 Small Indoor Plants to Spruce Up Your Space

To help you get started, we rounded up our favorite small indoor plants and included a few tips for styling them in a small space. Take a look and see which ones you can apply to your own space.

1. Air Plant

Air plants are interesting plants since they don’t need soil to survive. These are great if you’re looking for a small plant and don’t want to deal with pots or soil. If you choose to house your air plant in a terrarium, make sure it has an opening so it gets plenty of circulation.

air plant tillandisa small indoor plant

2. Aloe Vera

Did you know that aloe vera plants are a part of the succulent family? Just like their relatives, they enjoy the sun and prefer that their soil is completely dry between waterings. These small potted plants are handy to keep around if you have any minor burns, like a sunburn. Take a look at our list of medicinal plants to see what other plants you should keep around your home.

aloe vera small indoor plants

3. Anthurium

Smaller anthuriums are perfect for adding a bright pop of color to any room in the house without taking up too much space. They can tolerate all types of light, but will grow best with bright, indirect light.

anthurium small indoor plants

4. Asparagus Fern

Contrary to its name, the asparagus fern is actually a part of the lily (liliaceae) family. If possible, give this plant some breathing room on either side so its leaves can fan out. It will add a beautiful splash of green on any shelf or table.

small indoor plants asparagus fern

5. Baby Toes

These cute plants also hail from the succulent family. Their name derives from their small stature and resemblance to an infant’s toes. Baby toes are perfect conversation starters due to their unusual look.

small indoor plants baby toes

6. Cast-Iron Plant

Cast-iron plants are hardy plants that can withstand a range of light and soil conditions. They’re the plant to choose if you’re willing to give up a little floor space in exchange for a nearly indestructible plant.

small indoor plants cast iron plant

7. Chinese Money Plant

These cute plants are known for their beautiful round leaves and how for how difficult they are to obtain. Chinese money plants are also called missionary plants. This is because Norwegian Missionary Agnar Espergen took cuttings home with him in the 1940s and shared them with his loved ones. This is how the plant eventually spread throughout the world. These plants are easy to propagate, so the easiest way to acquire your own is to find a friend or online exchange willing to help y

small indoor plants chinese money plant

8. Echeveria

The echeveria is one of the most common types of succulents. Little plants like these are more commonly found at office and home desks due to their easy care and small size. A common cause of death, however, is overwatering. Make sure to let your plants’ soil dry completely before giving them another drink.

small indoor plants echeveria

9. Jade Plant

Jade plants are most known for their thick, oval-shaped leaves. Jade plants can live for years as long as they are given the proper care. To keep your plant’s leaves nice and shiny, wipe them down every once in a while to combat dust build up. This will keep the leaves glossy and increase its ability to absorb sunlight.

small indoor plants jade plant

10. Kalanchoe

Kalanchoes are a variety of flowering plants that are known for their beautiful blooms. Place them near a window so that they have plenty of energy to flower. The kalanchoe is also from the succulent family, so it prefers to have dry, well-drained soil.

kalanchoe small indoor plants

11. Lithops

Many refer to lithops as “living stones,” since these plants closely resemble pebbles and small stones. Like succulents, these small plants can survive in hot temperatures and little water. Lithops are great for showing off to guests due to their deceiving appearance!

small indoor plants lithops

12. Lucky Bamboo

These small plants can grow in both soil and in water. If you choose to grow your lucky bamboo in water, make sure you replace the water every 7 to 10 days and use filtered water if possible. If you plant it in soil, make sure to water it when the first inch of its soil starts to feel dry.

lucky bamboo small indoor plants

13. Oxalis

This specific oxalis variety is also referred to as “purple shamrocks” or “false shamrocks.” It earned its name because of its resemblance to the Irish shamrock that is more commonly known as the three-leafed clover. In addition to its name, its also known for its photophilic nature. This means that both its flowers and leaves open and close in response to light.

oxalis small indoor plants

14. Peace Lily

Peace lilies are one of the best houseplants you can have in your home due to their variety of sizes, attractive appearance and ability to clean the air. Peace lilies can also thrive under fluorescent light, so they’re perfect for rooms that have little to no natural light. Take a look at our peace lily care guide to learn how to help them thrive.

peace lily small indoor plants

15. Peperomia

Peperomia leaves grow in tight clusters, making them ideal choices for small shelves or desks. Their thick leaves can hold water and allow them to endure periods of time without hydration. They can also survive under fluorescent light, but grow best with bright, indirect sunlight.

small indoor plants peperomia

16. Polka Dot Plant

Polka dot plants are colorful plants that provide an unexpected dash of color to any shelf or tabletop. These small plants are commonly known for their pink color, but they have more recently become available in other colors (like red and white). Although it prefers indirect sunlight, some direct sunlight during the day is okay for your plant if it isn’t very colorful yet. Just remember to bring it back out of the direct sunlight to avoid scorched leaves.

polka dot plants small indoor plants

17. Pothos

Pothos plants are vine plants that can easily dress up a bookcase or a plain wall with their trailing leaves. They are another popular plant that purifies the air. Their classy appearance and air-purifying abilities make them a good choice for a home office or living room. Take a look at our pothos plant care guide to learn more in-depth information about their care guidelines.

pothos small indoor plants

18. Rubber Tree

Rubber trees are indoor plants that can pull any room together with their large leaves and vibrant color. Rubber trees can potentially grow up to ten feet tall. To keep them at a smaller height, prune the branches and leaves regularly. New branches can sprout from these prunings if you tend to them.

rubber tree small indoor plants

19. Snake Plant

Snake plants are easy to care for and are also useful for purifying the air. These plants grow vertically, so they’re ideal for tight corners that are in need of some greenery. Snake plants can grow in a variety of light conditions, but thrive best in indirect sunlight. Since they originate from the desert, they can also withstand long periods of time without water. You should let their soil dry between waterings. Take a look at our snake plant care guide to learn more in-depth information about snake plants.

snake plant small indoor plants

20. Spider Plant

These plants have a lot of long, skinny leaves that poke out from their pots. Spider plants make interesting hanging plants thanks to their dangling leaves. The spider plant’s other nicknames include the “airplane plant” and the “ribbon plant” — thanks to its iconic foliage.

spider plant small indoor plants

21. String of Pearls

The string of pearls plant is an increasingly popular plant with a unique appearance. Its pearl-like foliage hangs over its container and makes an eye-catching piece of decor for all of your guests. This cute plant is yet another member of the succulent family and thus requires lots of light and little water.

string of pearls small indoor plants
Source: 21 small indoor plants for apartment living

Why should you be doing more gardening?

Blooming marvellous: Why gardening keeps you grounded

Getting led up the garden path isn’t always a bad thing. You’d be amazed at the treasures and pleasures that await.

George admiring the flower he has grown.As a metaphor for life, gardening is the best there is. Think strong roots and firm foundations. It makes sense in any context, whether you relate it to family togetherness or designing a skyscraper. Any gardener will tell you that.

They’ll also say that life (and gardening) is better with barrowloads of patience. Plants grow slowly and no amount of rushing things (with fertiliser) will speed them up. So sit back and enjoy the ride.

Gardening is also good for you. It helps people battling high blood pressure, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, helps moderate mood and alleviate stress and doubles as a workout. Did you know three hours of moderate gardening will burn as many calories as a one-hour gym workout?

But back to gardening itself. Gardeners understand the only certainty is change – it’s why everything looks proportional in a garden for only so long. Plants get woody or diseased. And they die. That’s why in 10 years no garden will resemble the way it is now.

Gardening is an exercise in accepting whatever happens. Going with the flow. Especially when it comes to native plants – our fickle locals can keel over suddenly and inexplicably. Healthy one day, dead the next. And this is why gardeners are such get-on-with-it pragmatists – they rip out the ailing and lifeless, and plant anew. Usually with another little experiment, in the hope it might be hardier.

But enough of metaphors – gardeners have a low-tolerance for fluff. They are ‘practical folk’ whose idea of fun is getting dirty – rugging up and hitting it in any weather, slogging through winter for the rewards of spring and sweating under sunscreen and hat while everyone else is inside with air-conditioning.

Using secateurs to cut the stem off a lemon.This isn’t as unappealing as it may sound. The seasons are so much richer when you see them up close – turning leaves, peaches plumping out, birds gleaning twigs for nests and butterflies appearing like magic on the first warm days of summer.

A flourishing garden is certainly a thing of beauty, although any keen gardener will tell you it isn’t just about the results. It’s about the doing. Gardeners know that every day you miss takes at least two to catch up. Hacking back the overgrown is cathartic but it’s really just damage control – the thing you do before real nurturing can begin.

Beyond the heavy industry of digging, pulling, chopping and raking, gardening is about watching for signs, day in day out. And then one day seeing them – like a tiny green bud on a stalk that, the day before, looked dead.

Gardening comes with some strange belief that all those growing, independent and capable plants somehow need you. They need your diligent watering and well-researched fertilising and pruning.

Who knows where such enthusiasm and dedication originates? Maybe gardening is in the genes, or maybe it comes from childhood remembrance of helping mum or dad on rose-coloured weekends when the distant sound of lawn mowers meant no school today.

You’re either into it or you aren’t.

For gardeners, nothing beats a day in the dirt – potting up cuttings, digging in fertiliser, hunting out weeds. Time either stops or it flies.

As a gardener you become part of a living world that has as many ups and downs as ‘regular’ life, but is infused with an extra richness that defies description. You know the feeling. If you don’t, get out in the garden and find out.

Why gardening is good for your health

  • Three hours of moderate gardening burns as many calories as one hour at the gym.
  • Gardening can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by almost 30%.
  • Gardening reduces the risk of obesity.
  • 75% of gardeners rate their health as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’.
  • People who grow more fruit and vegetables eat more fruit and veg.
  • Gardening is more effective at reducing the stress hormone cortisol than reading.
  • Gardening requires skills that can protect the brain from ageing.
  • Regular gardeners are less likely to suffer from dementia.
  • Gardening improves your memory.

Source: Blooming marvellous: Why gardening keeps you grounded

Live Sustainably Everyday- Make Everyday an Environment Day

World Environment Day is just around the corner. While different organisations, educational institutions and community groups are undertaking various activities to mark this day, why don’t we take this as an opportunity to reflect upon our own lifestyles and see the impact of our actions to the environment as well as our well-being.

Waste is one of the biggest problems the world is facing at the moment and there has never been a better time to think and rethink about our consumption pattern and disposal
behaviour. According to the World Bank’s report What a Waste: A Global Review of Solid Waste Management ,globally we are producing1.3 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste every year and are expected to increase to approximately 2.2 billion tonnes per year by 2025. Similarly according to a recent report by UNEP and the World Resources Institute (WRI), about one-third of all food produced worldwide, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems.

Australians are the second biggest producer of waste and needless to say hundreds of tonnes of waste are dumped into landfill sites every year. In addition, most people these days think that landfill is the ultimate destination for most of the waste we produce, where as it should only be taken as a last resort.

The modern lifestyle and technological advancement is leading to not only increase in volume of waste we produce but also producing different composition of waste which is making the waste issue more big and challenging than ever. Disposal of different types of waste ranging from green waste, hazardous waste, e- waste and other household waste in the landfill is not only taking up bigger chunk of our valuable land which could have alternatively been used for other productive causes, but it is also causing severe and irreversible impacts in the environment, socio-economy and health. Wastes dumped in the landfill accounts for air pollution, water pollution and land quality at the same time methane gas produced during the decomposition of organic waste is one of the potent green house gas which is 23 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

If we really want to make our impact in reducing the waste or managing it, we need to reduce the production of waste at source. One of the successful and practical mantra that we have been hearing and to some extent practicing is 3 R Principle- Reduce Reuse and Re cycle.

Reduce mean avoiding the production of waste at source. Avoid the things that we can do without. Reuse is about using items over and over for a longer period.
Recycling is re-processing the item into a new raw material so that
it can be used in a new product–for example grinding up plastic bottles to make fibre. While recycling is helping us in a great way by keeping our waste from going to landfill; a huge quantity of waste could be reduced and reused before it goes to recycling.

What are the benefits of reducing and reusing waste?

1. Keeps materials out of landfill.
2. Helps to preserve the “embodied energy” that was originally used to manufacture
an item.
3. Reduces the pressure on raw material, energy and water.
4. Creates less air and water pollution than making a new item or recycling one.
5. Reduces overall production of waste.
6. Reuse often creates an affordability of goods that are often of better quality .

So what can we do to reduce waste going to landfill?

Here are 10 different ways that will help to reduce and reuse waste:
1. Change consumption pattern: Ask your self do you need or want that product. Only buy what you need
2. Buy quality products what would last long
3. Burrow thing from neighbours, friends and family
4. Rent it rather than buying if you are using for a short term
5. Covert your food waste into rich fertiliser though composting or wormfarming
6. Donate your unwanted items to charity organisation or give away to your friend and family
7. Buy and sell second-hand at flea markets and garage sales.
8. Maintain your goods, it will last longer
9. Repair the items such as electronics or furniture
10.Upcycle the items you don’t want and expand the life of your preloved goods

These simple actions can easily be incorporated in our everyday life at a no or vey low cost. All we need is a little bit of passion and commitment to change ourselves and create change. Every single action multiplied by thousands will certainly make a difference. So why don’t we start from ourselves and from today. And make every day an environment day.

A very happy environment day 2016 to all of you!

Happy International Composting Awareness Week 2016!

Half of the waste we put in our rubbish bin consists of food or garden waste. These organic waste get dumped into landfill where they decompose in the absence of oxygen producing potent greenhouse gas such as methane. The leachate produced by these organic waste also results in depletion of ground water quality.   By composting our food scraps we are not only diverting the huge amount of waste going to the landfill but also reducing carbon pollution.

Composting is a natural process by which the organic waste get decomposed into nutrition rich compost by the action of bacteria. In order to work effectively, composting requires the right blend of air, moisture and carbon & nitrogen balanced materials. Little bit of extra TLC (Tender. Love and Care) will work wonders.

Alternatively we can also get our food waste converted into the top quality compost by through worm farming. Worms munch on organic waste and produce casting which are high quality compost . Worm farming is the best way to manage organic waste within the small space and with no smell.

Here is a simple and easy step by step guide on worm farming and composting:

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Happy composting and do share your experiences 🙂

 

 

5 Permaculture Principles To Help You Start A Garden

Did you know Permaculture was theoretically developed by two Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren during the 1970s?

It’s one of Australia’s intellectual exports with a global network of practitioners and teachers.

Haven’t heard of Permaculture?

Permaculture is a set of principles that result in designing sustainable and productive systems. Systems for living, architecture, food production, land management and community.

Permaculture mimics patterns that occur in nature, to make these systems energy efficient, low cost and with high yielding results.

Recently, I joined a 2-day intensive course to learn about how to grow backyard veggies with Michael Hewins from Milkwood.

Michael’s methods of food cultivation are deeply based on Permaculture principles.

I got in touch with Milkwood to find out more on how Permaculture principles can help you start a garden, sustainably and harmoniously with nature.

If you don’t have a backyard space for a garden, you can even start a courtyard or balcony garden, which can still be productive while helping you to maintain your connection to nature. Another gardening option is taking part in a community garden, getting your own plot, and doing your gardening there.

Here are 5 Permaculture principles to help you start a garden

1. Catch and Store Energy – “Make hay while the sun shines”

By developing systems that collect resources when they are abundant, we can use them in times of need.

Try this: Planting for your site – figure out where the sun falls and doesn’t, and when. The sunnier spots are always the best place for veggies to reach their peak of flavour and nutrition.

2. Produce No Waste – “Waste not, want not”

By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.

Try this: Nutrient cycling, which means employing methods that help you close the loop and feed your garden at the same time. Ideas include worms, bokashi buckets, compost e.t.c.

3. Integrate Rather Than Segregate – “Many hands make light work”

By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.

Try this: Companion planting is a technique that can be used to stimulate plant growth and productivity, increase resilience to pests and diseases, hide your plants from pests or mask their scent to make them harder for pests to find, and attract beneficial insects which act as pollinators, such as bees, or attract beneficial predatory insects that will eat pest insects, such as ladybirds, lacewings and hoverflies.

4. Use Small and Slow Solutions – “Slow and steady wins the race”

Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and produce more sustainable outcomes.

Try this: Propagating your own seedlings! Not only will it save you money but you become self-reliant when you grow your own seeds for food.

5. Use Edges and Value the Marginal – “Don’t think you are on the right track just because it’s a well-beaten path”

The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.

Try this: If you wanted to emphasise the Edge Effect Principle, you would perhaps lean toward curved edge garden beds, mandala design garden beds, or just use a large number of smaller rectangular beds.

These 5 principles are originally based from David Holmgren’s 12 principles of permaculture design.

Why is growing your own food important?

Growing your own instills a true sense of the value of food. It’s also a great way to reduce carbon pollution emissions that occur in the food supply chain, areas including transport, processing and food waste.

You can maximise the use of home-produced compost & ‘worm juice’ from your worm farm as fertiliser, rather using than artificial ones, and chemicals such as insecticides and herbicides.

Growing your own also makes a surprisingly powerful statement about reducing our reliance on others for basic sustenance.

So are you ready to start growing seriously great vegetables in your backyard?

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below 🙂

Source: http://www.1m5 permaculture principles help you start garden

By: Bronte Hogarth

Happy Environment Day 2015 World..!!

Happy World Environment Day

World Environment day is celebrated on 5 June every year to raise global awareness to take positive environmental action  and reduce negative impact to protect the planet earth. People organise various programs globally to mark this day. Ideally, we should be grateful to environment every day  and should curtail any actions that have adverse impact on the environment and not limit our action to only one day of the year. However on this special day, we take this opportunity to thank and honour environment for all the privileges it has provided to us all. The theme for this year is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care” in short  “live sustainably”. Due to urbanisation and modern lifestyle, people are consuming more products than ever and subsequently creating more waste. In order to meet the growing demand of ever increasing population, we are not only exploiting our valuable natural resources but also limiting the access to these resources for our future generation through over extraction and pollution.

Below are  5 simple yet doable things that we can opt in our daily life to live sustainable life. What better day can there be to start this than today… Happy World Environment Day World!!

Reduce your Waste:

sort your waste

1.Before buying anything , THINK and identify if you really need or just want that item. Don’t buy if you don’t need them.

2.Reduce your waste by refusing, reusing and recycling the waste.

3.Put your household waste in the appropriate bin provided for general waste, recyclables and green waste so that more waste is diverted from landfill.

Save Water:

save water

4.Turn off the taps when not in use especially while brushing your teeth or shaving

5.Fix all the leaks including taps and toilets.

6.Take shorter shower and minimise the use of bath tub.

Save Energy

save energy

7.Turn off the light when not in use and replace your bulbs with CFLs

8.Use your washing machine only when it is full load and go for cold washes.Dry your clothes in the sun rather than dryers.

9.Make sure your refrigerator is in good condition. Get rid of second fridge or only use when required

Grow Your Own:

grow your own

10.Grow your own vegetables or buy locally grown food to reduce food miles and stay healthy.

11.Use natural pest controls and minimise the use of harmful chemicals

12.Turn your organic waste from garden and kitchen into compost and use them in your garden

YES! Every Drop Counts..

As we recently celebrate the World Water Day, this interesting infographic on global water availability and usage definitely deserves to look  and ponder upon..!!

Every-Drop-Counts-Infographic

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