Gardening Themes for Your Apartment
By Jim Blake
Great decor doesn’t happen by accident. When a space and its elements mesh perfectly, it’s because of the design work. If you’re considering a gardening theme for your apartment, some extra legwork in the planning stages can pay off in the finished product.
The choices you make in heavily trafficked areas are extra important when hosting gatherings. Most balconies have large windows and plenty of ventilation, making them perfect for plants. Here are a few ways to incorporate a garden theme into your apartment, along with plants that will fit any occasion or aesthetic.
Herbs: The Classic Indoor Garden
Herb gardens are the most popular type of indoor garden for good reason. Herbs are easy to grow and don’t need much maintenance. They’re compact, so they’re perfect for windowsills and countertops. Plus, they’re useful, since nearly every dinner recipe calls for at least one or two herbs.
Because they are small and manageable, herb gardens make excellent projects with kids. They’re also dirt cheap to create. Many claim herb garden success using little more than some potting soil and an old egg or milk carton.
Vegetable Gardening Indoors
Vegetable gardening can be a messy endeavor that requires lots of space and sunlight. But if you choose your plants wisely, you can harvest all kinds of veggies from your tidy little apartment garden.
Lettuce is the plant that keeps on giving. It doesn’t take up much space, and you can harvest part of it and wait for it to replenish. Scallions, tomatoes, and carrots will also thrive indoors. Want something decorative and functional? Try a dwarf lemon tree.
Just make sure the plants you pick like shade, won’t get too big, and that they’ll grow upwards instead of outwards. Keep in mind: some indoor vegetables not exposed to bees will require pollination. The beauty of container gardening is that you can move these plants outside for a day every spring.
Indoor Flower Gardening
What’s not to love about flowers? They’re pretty, they smell good, and they can absorb toxins from the air. Some of them even make a nice tea.
As great as cut flowers are, there’s a good reason to incorporate a few live flowers into your apartment décor, too. Live flowers have several maintenance requirements that cut flowers don’t. But they also have one big advantage: Live plants will last!
If you’re growing a garden on your patio or balcony, native plants require less maintenance and offer better success rates. Some of those Wisconsin natives, such as wild geraniums, will thrive inside your apartment as well.
Some indoor perennial flowers can bloom again and again for years after they’re planted. Once you get the hang of it, you can have an apartment that’s accented by a steady stream of living blossoms.
Displaying Your Harvest
Aside from the taste, the next best thing about fresh from the garden produce is how good it looks. Fresh vegetables either on the vine or arranged on a counter give any space an air of color and energy.
Of course, you don’t have to stick to only your own harvest when it comes to appearances. Fall vegetables like gourds and pumpkins aren’t great for indoor growing, but they’re perfect for decor. So if your autumn decor relies on a few store-bought squash to complete the look, we won’t tell if you won’t!
Jim Blake is a lifestyle and environmental writer who enjoys making the most of small spaces. His balcony is covered with a garden he built with upcycled materials.