Photo by Vadim Kaipov – Unsplash
Indoor plants can transform the look and feel of your garden room, while also bringing a host of other benefits. To understand more, we turned to planting designer Charlotte O’Farrell of Cybill and Jones who creates people’s dream green spaces both inside and outside of their garden rooms.
In this guest blog, Charlotte explains the benefits of having houseplants in your garden room, her advice on the 5 best garden room plants, how to create an impactful look, tips on ensuring they thrive and what greenery works well on your garden room decking to create a seamless flow between the outside and inside.
The benefits of garden room plants
Greenery inside is a natural mood booster. Having houseplants in your garden room gives your space a naturally calming feel, with numerous studies showing positive effects on stress, productivity and focus.
Many houseplants also have air purifying properties, which makes sense when you think about how the Amazon rainforest acts as the lungs of the earth. Aloe vera, peace lilies and weeping figs, among others, are said to be particularly effective.
There are also therapeutic benefits to looking after indoor plants, which is why horticultural therapy is a recognised treatment. Caring for indoor plants allows you to be in the present moment and keeping them healthy provides satisfaction. They also give you something calming to look at beyond man-made objects.
Lime Green Pothos & Rubber Plant – Cybill & Jones
5 best indoor garden room plants
We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to plants that thrive inside garden rooms; here are my top 5 that bring to life the diversity of what’s available and how different they can look:
- Cactus: A brilliantly low-maintenance option, which creates gorgeous silhouettes. They come in all different sizes and are ideal for south-facing windows and bi-fold doors. We can’t have them in our gardens, so it’s a real treat getting to have them inside for a unique and awesome look.
- Lime Green Pothos: A real character of a plant, these are perfect for shadier spots in your garden room. The lime-green colour really ‘pops’, they’re great for filling spaces with their beautiful heart-shaped leaves and can be positioned to create a soft and elegant ‘climb’ or ‘tumble-down’ effect.
- ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas Zamiifolia): Known as the plant you can’t kill, this is an incredibly stunning and yet low-maintenance choice. It’s happiest in shadier spots and has gorgeously glossy leaves, and a slightly succulent feel.
- The Rubber Plant: This classic 1970s beauty is deservedly ‘back’ and offers three stunning foliage colours; rich red, dark green and a camouflage effect. They’re capable of growing as tall as 6 ft on a single stem, making them great for filling empty spots, or you can plant three in the same pot for a fuller effect.
- Kentia Palm: This popular and well-known houseplant creates a seamlessly homely connection between your house and your garden room – reaffirming it as a true living space. They’re tall and soft, making them ideal for corners.
You can ensure any pots you use won’t damage your garden room floor by using pot stands, or rubber-backed rugs. These complement your chosen look, while avoiding direct contact with the floor.
Thinking outside the box
Your garden room greenery can also extend beyond houseplants, which is particularly handy if you’ve got a garden room kitchenette where you’d benefit from easy access to cooking herbs. Popular favourites like thyme, oregano, basil and parsley absolutely thrive inside.
If you’re looking to add natural smells and colours to your garden room you could also consider plants like jasmine or scented geraniums, which flower and produce beautiful aromas.
When it comes to interior design, garden room plants go a long way for your budget and can be easily styled in your own unique way to create a particular theme.
You can hang plants from the ceiling, attach chains for plants like pothos to ‘climb’ up, layer plants at different heights, or cluster them together on a table. Shelving can also look stylish and is great for creating partitions to zone off certain areas.
You could also have a go at hydroponics, which involves growing plants or herbs in water rather than soil. This is a great option if you’re not in your garden room every day, as they don’t require regular watering. You can go for stylish and unusual glassware for a modern feel, or old milk bottles for a shabby-chic look.
Helping them thrive
Once you’ve chosen your ideal garden room plants, here are some simple tips to keep them thriving:
- The Right Match: Choose the right plant for the right place to keep them looking great; simply think about where they come from – cactuses grow in the desert and so need lots of sun, while lime green pothos come from the jungle and need shadier spots to thrive
- Good Drainage: Ensure your plant is in a plastic container with drainage holes, before it’s placed into a decorative pot
- Simple Maintenance: Unlike plants in the garden, potted plants don’t have a reservoir of soil and natural resources and so need watering, spritzing and feeding in the growing months (spring and summer)
- Holiday Plans: Consider using a houseplant hotel service or friend to look after them if you’re going away on holiday
A seamless flow
Outdoor potted plants on the decking of your garden room help to create a seamless flow between your house, the green tranquillity of your garden, and the ‘inside’ of your garden room.
Potted plants help to blend the oasis of greenery in your garden, with your garden room. Garden rooms provide natural shelter, so there are plenty that will thrive.
Olive trees or bay trees are great for creating a seamless transition – they’re evergreen, low maintenance, and thrive in pots. Other good choices include billowy evergreen grasses for sun-drenched entrances, or english ivy and boston ferns for shadier ones. Large spiky plants and castor oil plants are also a favourite of mine for adding character and personality.
I also particularly love the idea of having lemon trees outside on the decking in the warmer months, which you can then bring inside during the cooler months as a focal point – they’re a really colourful statement piece.
Pots create a blended aesthetic between your house, your garden and your garden room. You might opt for uniform black ceramic pots, galvanised steel, terracotta or brightly coloured mosaic designs in either square or rounded shapes. Just because pots are outside, not everything ‘goes’ – it’s important it looks nice and ties in well.
To finish off the look of your outdoor potted plants, you can fill the top of the base soil with white gravel or slate, or even evergreen grasses – they look fantastic as they grow, covering up the soil and elegantly spilling over the pot.
Garden room ‘greenteriors’
Decorating your garden room with plants is soul-nourishing, calming and impactful. They’re also a versatile and effective way to create a natural flow between your house, garden and garden room.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to have green fingers, there are plenty of low-maintenance options to get you started and you’ll have no problem keeping them healthy if you pick the right plant, for the right place.