How to improve your interiors, boost your well being and purify your air by bringing the outside in.....

About a year or so ago as the family home finally started to take shape among the clutter of stuff and become more '˜homely', at last it seemed the right time to take the very grown-up step and the responsibility in acquiring a little in-house greenery.

Monday, 10th December 2018, 4:04 pm
Updated Monday, 10th December 2018, 5:10 pm
One of the house plant victims

According to Instagram, in-door hanging baskets were all the rage and I wanted in.

There had also come a point whereby I seemed to be endlessly walking around the house with the Dettol spray bottle in hand.

Among the carpet of hot wheels and Lego, the show homes littered in rich green colour on the squares of my news feeds, coupled with episodes of Alan Titchmarsh ‘Love your Garden’ convinced me a flower pot or five within our abode would be more pleasing on the eye.

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By inviting the outdoors in, we would live in abundance of oxygen, create a healthier, cleaner home and restore some balance with a ‘calm and harmonious’ environment.

NASA had proven in their studies the air purifying capabilities of plants in removing toxins from the air.

It made for interesting reading and so the plan to clear the house of pollution began in earnest in a naturally filtered way. We would be going wild with Flora...sort of.

It started with a spider plant cutting from Grandmas – to ease this beginner in gently.

It’s pretty hard to kill off a spider plant. Happy to report it’s one of the survivors.

The bonsai not so lucky, the ornate pot lives on in the utility room for the memories.

I’ve moved in hardy succulents, an aloe vera plant, adopted five orchids, a peace lily and a few I don’t even know the names of.

The latest to the tribe are three bamboo cuttings – it’s touch and go at the minute, I seriously underestimated how hard it is to raise plants alongside humans. Never ever buy me a poinsettia.

Perhaps it should have been left to the scientists.

But now on my sixth bout of tonsilitis this year, striving for better indoor air quality is now not a hobby but a personal mission, and I’m determined to earn my stripes in the horticultural world.

Next on the shopping list will be one of the Arecaceae family, the Areca Palm, as suggested by NASA scientist Dr Bill Wolverton, who rates it at No.1 in his book ‘How to grow fresh air – 50 plants to purify the home and office’

The bamboo palm is up there in the top 10 along with English Ivy.

It’s taking some getting used to but there is now a regular watering system in place.

That was until the parents decided to take a two-month adventure across the world and throw in responsibility for their indoor garden centre along with feeding the cats – 47 plants to be precise.

The attention to detail in nurturing this additional family required a full written sheet by my mum, complete with underlines and bold notes.

The thing is with instructions, most of the time they don’t get read.

Monday’s weekly watering has turned to Friday and sadly with another four weeks of the trip to go, not all are going to make it.

This green-fingered goddess still needs some work.