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Clare Oaks Blog

Posted: Wednesday, March 1, 2017
By: Clare Connection

Indoor Gardening

I like gardening. I enjoy nurturing a seedling, watching it grow, pampering it until it matures and then maintaining its health, reaping its harvest or enjoying its natural beauty. But after a natural disaster ripped though my neighborhood destroying everything in my yard, I felt disheartened. I vowed to never spend my time gardening again. Downsizing into a retirement community could prompt similar feelings. Adapting to a smaller living space may be difficult if you had been an avid gardener. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Benefits to indoor gardening include a temperature and humidity controlled environment that is not subject to harsh outdoor elements. But what do you plant? Decide what you want to achieve first. Do you want to garden to beautify your home? Do you want to eat what you have grown?  Are you enamored with the aroma of fresh plants or herbs? Or do you just like gardening as a hobby? An answer to these questions will steer you to what plants to grow. If you are solely concerned with the natural beauty of plants, try picking African violet, Wandering Jew, geranium, kalanchoe, violas, phalaenopsis orchid, or succulents. These are all beautiful plants that are easy to grow. If you want to cook and eat from your indoor garden, try choosing strawberries. The upside down hanging strawberry bush is a great way to enjoy fresh fruit from inside your house. The Topsy Turvy Company makes all sorts of upside down hanging planters. They have strawberry, hot pepper, tomato, and other varieties ranging from $10-$20, and you can order them online. If you like mushrooms you can buy a shiitake mushroom log for your kitchen countertop. The look of mushrooms growing on an attractive log is stunning. These are available on line for under $30, and they harvest mushrooms twice!

Easiest of all has to be herbs. They are edible, will beautify your home, and will  add aroma. They are also very compact, using very little space. They are great for windowsills. You can plant basil, parsley, thyme, cilantro (If your cilantro goes to seed, don't throw it out--cilantro seed is coriander, a great spice for soups and stews.) Herbs need plenty of sunlight and water.

Small is big. Small houses and small space gardening are huge trends. Just as if you were planning a garden outside, you need to choose the terrain: what wall, windowsill, countertop, floor area will garnish the most sunlight. Once you have the areas you think are ideal for planting, you will need to choose what type of container you need. A trip to your computer will solve that. Use websites like Pinterest or Mother Earth News. Both are great because people who post their ideas have already built, troubleshot, adjusted, and perfected their home gardening creations.

Windowsills are great for herbs, bonzai plants, and succulents. They are smaller, and herbs, as they outgrow the window area can be pruned and used in cooking. Most herbs need vigilant scrutiny. They will tell you quickly that they need water. If you tend to travel a lot, bonzai and succulents may be a better choice. Succulents, that is, cacti, are a beautiful addition to any room. They have natural allure, and when they bloom, they excite. They grow very slowly and need minimal water and care. Bonzai are similar, needing pruning rarely and little water.

You can garden just about anything in just about anything. Turn your home into a garden. A visit to Pinterest shows herbs in mason jars, a hanging garden rod with galvanized buckets, a ladder attached to a wall with garden boxes on the rungs. The options are endless, creative, and fun. Want to try your hand at indoor gardening? Clare Oaks is the perfect place to downsize, retain the benefits and joys of gardening, without all of the upkeep and maintenance of a home. To find out more, call 630-372-1946.

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Clare Oaks, 825 Carillon Drive, Bartlett, Illinois 60103
630-372-1946 | 1-800-648-1984