PHOTOS BY LORI GOODWIN-CHAPMAN

Indoor gardening tops the trend list

There is a strong trend in the home décor realm that incorporates house plants into the design aesthetic. It seems every home on Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz has plants in it these days! I’m not complaining, a home filled with plants seems to be filled with life.
I’m not an expert but I’d say there was a similar trend back in the 70s, too. You can keep your avocado stove, but I’ll keep the plants, thank you. Having grown up in a home that had houseplants, I still love being surrounded by them. When I see the varieties my mother had gracing our windowsills, it brings me back to my childhood and makes me smile. I’m passing that love of plants on to my children as our home is filled with plants too, some of which don’t belong to me.
Houseplants are not only good for the design of a home, but they also are helpful in providing you with cleaner air to breathe, too. Certain plants, such as Boston Ferns, Spider plants and Snake plants are great air purifiers, with the addition of being plants that are relatively easy to keep alive.
My only word of caution about bringing plants into your home is to be aware of what plants are poisonous to your small children or your pets. If you are buying plants, ask the staff at the store for that information.
In Ingrid Fetell Lee’s book, Joyful, she talks about visiting the apartment of Summer Rayne Oakes, who filled her loft with over 670 plants. On a hot summer’s day, the plant-filled space was cool and inviting, an urban escape to a hectic life. She talks about studies having been done that show that being around houseplants can help boost creativity and free the mind, as well as lower blood pressure, and improve attention. Having plants in your home also makes you more aware of your surrounding – the light coming through the windows, the sun and the direction your windows face.

I spoke with Lori Goodwin-Chapman, a Pictou County native who runs the Instagram account @leaf_as_we_know_it, a plant-filled account with the rare appearance of her pooch. She first started with one lone plant that was gifted to her by her husband. “I did some research on how to care for it, and once it started growing and thriving, I was hooked.” Hooked might be an understatement as at last count, her plant count landed somewhere in the range of 160, but she’d guess she’s closer to 200 now. Lori started out with succulents and cacti and they remain her favourite; she’s drawn to the strange and unique-looking plants.
Lori offered up this tip to those of us with plants in our homes: Routine!! Cacti and succulents especially love routine because ‘too much care’ is often the cause of death.
The North Shore has lots of fabulous places to buy good quality houseplants and everyone was quite willing to recommend their favourite local shop.
You are never to young or too old to start your love affair with house plants!! They add so much life to your home!