Gardens - Indoor Gardening

Bring the outside indoors

7 ideas for adding a touch of nature indoors

An antique section of dentil moulding provides storage

Garden elements are right at home in the bathroom. The pitcher plant (Nepenthes ventricosa) adds some exotica with its pendent, carnivorous flowers and glossy green leaves; it thrives in the bright, humid conditions. New Zealand flax (Phormium ‘Rubrum'), a pricey tender perennial that must be brought indoors for the winter in most parts of the country, also enjoys the sunny room.

An antique section of dentil moulding from the early 1900s complements the clawfoot tub and provides storage for “all things bath” with room for a pretty iron accent and wooden finial.

Bird bath
With few feathered friends around needing a soak, an antique bird bath moves indoors and serves as an elegant table while faux moss-covered rocks add colour and texture beneath the glass top.

Survival strategies
• Bring plants indoors before the weather cools off. That way they'll be moving into conditions similar to those outside (high air humidity, warm temperatures), so it'll be less of a shock.

• Before bringing plants in, eliminate any pests or diseases. Hose them down, then spray from top to bottom (including the undersides of leaves) with a mild insecticide, such as insecticidal soap, or a homemade solution of five millilitres of dishwashing liquid in one litre of water.

• Prune overgrown plants heavily as you bring them inside; some may need repotting if they've outgrown their summer homes.

• Place plants in the brightest light available, even full sun. Add supplementary light if possible: the more your plants' winter home feels like Florida, the better they'll do.

• Use a humidifier or a humidity tray (a tray filled with gravel kept partially filled with water to ensure constant evaporation).

• Stop fertilizing plants once they're indoors: you don't want to encourage growth under weak light. Start feeding them again in late February or early March, when light intensity increases.

• Water deeply, but wait until the soil is dry to the touch before watering again.

• Put up sticky traps to catch any wayward whiteflies and aphids.
-Larry Hodgson

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