Summer has arrived and there is no better time to fill your home with plants and floral delights. The light and airy rooms of Quartermile’s luxury apartments are ripe for a snip of foliage, and if you are thinking of making the move to Edinburgh’s most desirable district, a houseplant may just make it onto your next shopping list. Houseplants are more than just decorative; they can add a sweet scent to your living spaces and even be beneficial to your health.
Plants are an inexpensive way to boost happy hormones and, contrary to popular opinion, they aren’t just for girls. Read this article and get a better idea how you can connect your home with the great outdoors in a positive and meaningful way.
The term biophilia describes the innate love humankind has for the natural world. We have grown accustomed to being near relatively few plants in our day to day lives, but a few centuries ago- before the industrial revolution, we would have been surrounded by all things flora and fauna that we simply aren't exposed to any more.
Bringing a touch of nature back into our lives is thought to be an important way to increase personal wellbeing and reduce feelings of anxiety. In a study cited in the book Healing Gardens, researchers found that more than two-thirds of people choose to retreat to a natural setting when stressed. Adding houseplants to your home, particularly an open-plan apartment space, will not only benefit your mood but will help reduce the physical signs of stress such as high blood pressure, increased heart rate, muscle tension and a suppressed immune system.
Thanks to air conditioning and efficient insulation, the pollutants emitted by household items such as cleaning products and electrical goods leave the modern home lacking in fresh air. However, with the help of our friend the houseplant, harmful toxins, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are absorbed, while fresh oxygen is pumped out into living spaces as a result of photosynthesis.
Believe it or not, a home full of plants can improve our ability to fight off illness. When humidity levels are too low, our immune system is less effective, which leaves the body susceptible to bacterial and viral infections. Similarly, if the humidity is too high our bodies become susceptible to a host of other diseases and health problems. The humble plant can help to maintain a healthy balance in the humidity of the home – thus keeping our bodies functioning at optimum levels.
Not only do house plants keep you and your home healthy, they just happen to be a trending interior design feature for 2016. Inspired by the Scandinavian style, which is currently all the rage, plants are considered to be an important soft furnishing for modern living spaces. If you are fond of the minimalist look in open plan apartments, plants can be an important accent feature to add a dash of colour amidst the clean lines and white walls.
Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself to be green fingered, there are plenty of hardy house plants that need minimal care and attention. Think cacti, succulents and hardy ferns. Ivy is also wonderful for air purification and is widely available in gardening centres and even supermarkets.
Even a cluster of plant pots on the floor by a window can create a your very own mini-forest. Just be conscious that some plants should not be left within reach of animals and small children and you won’t go far wrong.
Whatever else you do this summer, why not experiment with a new houseplant and watch your horticultural skills begin to bloom.