By Justin Hancock, Costa Farms gardening expert
Photograph courtesy of Costa Farms
I enjoy houseplants all year, but I spend more time with them come autumn and winter when I'm inside more. (Actually, that's not so true these days; in Miami I can be outside all year long). Even if you're out and about more in summer, there are some compelling reasons to keep houseplants around.
Reason 1: Air Purification
Plants remove harmful VOCs from our air. Being healthier is as simple as adding a couple of houseplants to your favorite room. Scientific research shows us houseplants efficiently pull VOCs from the air we breathe. Other scientists have found houseplants take particulate matter (such as mold spores) out of the air. Can they help with your summer allergies? Maybe!
Reason 2: Stress Reduction
Scientists researching how plants make us better know that being around houseplants is good for mental welfare, too. A variety of research points to how houseplants help us to relax and be at peace, even when the world around us seems turbulent. A Kansas State University study, for instance, revealed hospital patients in rooms that contained plants needed less pain medication, had reduced anxiety, and left the hospital more quickly than patients without plants. If houseplants do that for you when you're not feeling well, imagine the effect they have when you're feeling fine!
Reason 3: Cooling
Houseplants breathe. This process pulls in carbon dioxide and releases fresh oxygen. It also releases moisture in the air. This actually reduces air temperatures. Some estimates point to houseplants being able to lower a room's temperature by 10 degrees in hot weather. Strategically setting plants throughout your home may keep you feeling more comfortable.
Reason 4: Home DÉcor
Houseplants instantly add a sense of warmth, comfort, and coziness to our living spaces. We seem to bond with plants on a deep level, and it can affect us when we don't get enough exposure to nature (some folks advocate that we can suffer from nature-deficit disorder).
Reason 5: Personalization
While they're great décor, houseplants also let us get just the right look for our indoor spaces. Make your houseplants shine by creating fun groupings or putting them in interesting pots that say something about your décor style or personality.
By Susan Martin for Proven Winners,
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners
When you head to the garden center this spring, you'll find more patterned flowers than ever before. All those stripes, speckles and pinwheels are dazzling but it takes a little know-how to pair them with other flowers in container recipes. Here are five creative ways to design spectacular container recipes using patterned flowers.
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