Gardening’s not all about braving the weather and turning over forkfuls of soil. Thousands of gardeners get their horticultural joy indoors, tending their plants in the shelter of their homes.
Here are a few of our favourite indoor gardening bloggers – read on, take a few tips from them, and learn how they keep their houseplants happy!
Guardian gardening editor, Jane Perrone, loves trying new plants based on their name. ‘Ear of the Devil‘ lettuce proved irresistible. It turns out the pointy, red leaves grow well in containers, and aren’t too attractive to slugs!
Her regular gardening podcast, On The Ledge, features top tips from experts including legendary organic gardener Bob Flowerdew and New York plant scientist Christopher Satch. She waxes lyrical about everything from how to make your houseplant collection ‘#shelfie-worthy’ to how growing indoor microgreens can ‘fill your plate as well as your instagram account.’
There’s plenty of sound advice on Jane’s blog, too. Do you know how to tell if a plant is potbound? Check underneath the inner pot – if there’s a mass of roots on show, then it definitely is. Time to re-pot to a larger home!
Did you know that you can use plants like fern palms and livistona to create a mini indoor rainforest and improve the oxygen levels in your home? Or that different colour bromeliads can help balance your interiors in a similar way to feng shui (try blue to refresh and cool, red for power and energy or pink to encourage relaxation and romance). If you fancy giving either a try then this is definitely the place to find out more.
The Flower Council of Holland launched thejoyofplants to promote flowers and plants in the UK. There’s info on six plant-based topic areas including home decor, people, events, fashion, care and food — so something for everyone to dip into.
These guys love unusual food ideas, too. So if you’re looking for something different to do with your herbs, surprise your tastebuds with this delicious rosemary ice cream recipe.
Definitely mark Flowerona down for a visit if you’re getting married. There are a whole load of ideas for interior cut flower designs and arrangements, including a series of gorgeous image-based posts focused on the most beautiful wedding flowers in the land.
Becoming ill on her own honeymoon made blogger, Rona, want to make some life changes. She signed up for an evening class in floristry and built up the skills to leave her customer service job and become a full time florist, writer and trainer. She describes Flowerona as ‘a feel good place for people to escape to and be inspired by.’ We couldn’t agree more.
Want to add a dash of winter colour to your home? Rona’s advice on azaleas is invaluable. Choose a plant with plenty of buds and a few open flowers, and keep it in a bright place, but out of direct sunlight. Or, if your own home’s already full of plants, these sweet flowers make an ideal gift for friends or family!
If you have limited space to grow your plants then Michelle at Urban Botanics can help. She offers hints and tips on growing in limited spaces and caring for plants on windowsills, roof terraces and balconies.
Learn how to grow indoor food that knocks the socks off the supermarket versions. Green-fingered Michelle tries out tomatoes, green peppers and chillis on her living room windowsill and praises them for their superior ‘sweetness and flavour’.
Fancy trying your hand at creating something new? There are lots of little projects to try with easy step-by-step instructions. Make your own homegrown herbal tea with chamomile or mint, or create a low-maintenance mini cactus garden that makes a beautiful table centrepiece.
Green Grow Blog
Anyone who’s ever tried to look after a new plant will understand the struggles and triumphs shared on Green Grow, which charts the highs and lows of real life plant care using photo diaries.
Watch the rapid growth of an abacate avocado from Sao Paolo, Brazil and learn how easy it is to grow your own from a leftover seed (peel off the dark skin to make it sprout roots and get growing faster). Or witness the gradual rescue of a beautiful Fiddle Leaf fig as it’s nursed back to life in Ohio through trial and error with different amounts of water and sunlight.
Wondering about your next holiday? Follow Sheffield-based photographers India and Magnus as they explore indoor botanical spaces around the world. Their image-based blog is the perfect place to escape, explore and seek inspiration for your own indoor gardening (and your travels).
Venture up a deep, dark staircase to discover a plant-filled secret hair salon in Sheffield or negotiate unsealed roads to discover the fincas, bananas plants and exotic Moorish architecture of beautiful Cordoba in Andalucia.
It’s no surprise to hear this striking blog was recently featured in the Daily Telegraph, and recommended in BBC Gardener’s World Magazine.
Essex-based gardener Hannah Schlotter believes that ‘getting your hands in the soil is a perfect tonic to the chaotic modern world.’ She’s an ambassador for Kew Gardens’ Grow Wild campaign to rejuvenate Britain’s wild flowers and her passion for plants shines through in a mix of engaging written and video blogs.
Try your hand at practical projects like making your own terrarium (try using a jam jar to keep costs down) and rescuing supermarket basil (did you know you can separate about about twenty plants from one pot?). And learn about caring for different types of plants like Fittonia, which, true to it’s South American roots, needs plenty of misting.
Hannah’s on a bit of a mission to bring back the viola and recommends adding some instant colour to your winter window boxes (as well as to salads and cocktails) with this cheap and cheerful, antioxidant-packed edible flower.
Want to try your hand at forcing hyacinths? Julie, blogger-in-chief at Garden Withindoors can answer pretty much any question you have on the topic. Recording her forcing results since 2011, Julie encourages around 200 bulbs a year to flower, changing varieties (and suppliers) as she goes along.
The key to forcing bulbs in water is to have the base of the bulb not quite touching the water – otherwise it’ll rot. Follow Julie’s progress from September’s start to the end of the forcing season in March, and delight in the pictures she shares of what she calls her “fabulous floral firework display”. We can only agree!
Are you an intrepid indoor gardener? Share your favourite pictures with us on our Facebook page – we love to see what you’ve been growing.