Decorating with Plants

When I think of what a home oasis looks like, Iʼm reminded of Erin and Mʼs 2nd- story apartment back when they lived in Las Cruces.

Talk about a dream. Almost solely through the use of plants, they were able to take what was otherwise a regular apartment with white walls and tan carpeting and turn it into a serene retreat.

Inside, large floor plants, hanging tendrils, beautiful floral bouquets, and small succulents nestled among treasures such as books, trinkets, and delicate dishes created a calm and cushy atmosphere. The use of white sheer curtains filtered the vibrant New Mexican sun so that there was warmth and light without the harsh glare that often accompanies. The real showstopper was  the balcony.

One table featured multiple potted plants- huge ones- a few feet in diameter.

On the ledge of the balcony was their fortress: a myriad of hanging and standing plants shielded the view inward, particularly when on the outdoor sofa just below it- seated with a cup of tea or laying down and catching mid morning    zzzʼs under a perfect view of a sky so blue.

Side tables supported still more botanical sweeties. Each one different in size, texture, color, height, and species, the array of life was mesmerizing. Wind chimes, a hanging incense bottle, and a Bluetoothspeakercompletedthis majesty.

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Having an indoor garden is a great way to get connected to nature and uplift the mood in any room. Small succulents make great additions to rooms like the kitchen and bathroom for both color and texture. I like the idea of mixing materials in most every aspect of life, but it is particularly fun with plants. Get a variety of heights, textures and colors that accent your space.

Creating a Home Oasis

Indoor plants to get you started:

Chlorophytum comosum, known commonly as the Spider plant, has a striking appearance with long, vibrant leaves. Many potted plants can be separated to expand the capacity. Light and bright, C. comosum reminds me of free-falling hair and I love it.

Palm trees are great for corners and large areas as their expansive leaves provide shade and can grow as tall as 8 feet. One of my favorite views in Erin and Mʼs apartment was their Chrysalidocarpus lutescens Areca Palm inside under a window, filtering light in a similar fashion as the blinds did.

Watching the leaves of the Swiss cheese plant Monstera deliciosa unroll into their full shape is exciting and mesmerizing.Palm trees are great for corners and large areas as their expansive leaves provide shade and can grow as tall as 8 feet. One of my favorite views in Erin and Mʼs apartment was their Chrysalidocarpus lutescens Areca Palm inside under a window, filtering light in a similar fashion as the blinds did.

 Plants are amazing, living beings that are crucial to the health of humans for their role in photosynthesis, providing cleaner air that is often accompanied by an uplifted mood and general feeling of well- being. The leaves shown here were situated on the table on the back patio in front of the sliding door to the bedroom. What a view to wake up to. M. deliciosa can grow over 10 feet in height. 

 Modifications without a major overhaul

Plants make an excellent addition to any room- inside or out- but can particularly resurge life into an otherwise mundane space in the house. Renting often does not allow tenants to paint or make structural changes, so incorporating plants inside is an easy way to bring color and life without any demolition.

Choosing an arrangement

Consider the size of your space and find plants accordingly. Large corners, as mentioned previously, are excellent places for tall trees and large pots. Tops of shelves are nice places for hanging tendrils and vines, as well as clustering. As my dear friend Javier reminded me on our visit to El Junque in his home of Puerto Rico, “the trees do not discriminate. All are welcome to inhabit together.” Remember that when shopping for plants. The more variety, the better. Find plants that resonate with you and inspire you and you will be sure to have a livelier, more energetic home.

Watering

Succulents need just a drop of water on occasion and are really hard to kill. Most plants only need water if the soil feels dry and many can take a moderate amount of regular watering. If purchasing from a market, most plants will be marked with their requirements of ideal temperature, light, watering, soil, fertilizer, and humidity and it is helpful to keep these markers for reference. A bottle mister is a helpful way to water without overwatering and ensures all-over coverage.

If there are critters/fur babies/pets in your house, keep in mind that some plants are poisonous to different animals, though the ones mentioned here are not.

Nat Davis Comment