From drab to fab: easy ways to liven up your home with simple greenery

Want to freshen up your living space but don’t have enough funds to invest in a renovation? Love to have a garden but lack a big backyard? One of the simplest and most affordable ways to transform your home is to inject some greenery into your space.

With many studies proving that plants improve air quality, there are significant health benefits that come with being surrounded by plants. And with plants available to purchase online for delivery right to your door, you don’t even need to drive to a nursery to start creating your very own urban jungle.

If you’re trying to work out how to keep plants indoors, on a balcony or in a courtyard, here are some top plant options to include in your home gardening grand plans:

Hardy succulents

Not everyone is blessed with a green thumb, so if you have trouble keeping plants alive, then succulents are a good option. Requiring very little water or upkeep, succulents can be placed indoors in a well-lit area and on sunny balconies and courtyards. Because most succulents only require watering once every few weeks, these plants are a great choice for children interested in keeping their own plants, as well as time poor adults who may not have much spare time to dedicate to gardening.

Native heroes

Tired of losing all your plants during summer heatwaves? Drought-resistant native plants are an ideal option for people living in harsh climates. Requiring less water than most other plants, native plants are great water savers that tend to do well in the harsh Australian summer. Finding the right plant for your climate is important, but if in doubt native plants from your area should be a go-to choice. Growing well on a sunny balcony or back deck, the Coastal Rosemary (Westringia fruiticosa) is a beautiful drought-tolerant shrub that also can handle light frosts in winter, making it a good option for people living in areas that have cool winters and hot summers.

Multitasking flora

Filling your home with plants that serve another purpose is a nifty way to reduce your grocery bill. It’s well known that the leaves of the aloe vera plant are good for soothing sunburn, while plants like mint and lemon myrtle can be used in teas and infusions. Growing herbs like basil, parsley and chives in pots or planters on the kitchen window not only brightens up your cooking area but also saves you money. Other edible plants that can be grown on balconies or in courtyards include tomatoes, chillies, lettuce and spinach.

Classic indoor favourites

Living in a house without a backyard or much natural light? You can still cultivate an impressive indoor garden if choosing the right plants. Whether investing in hip hanging planters to create a hanging garden in your lounge room or lining up a selection of brightly coloured pots along the hallway, indoor plants help to lift dark living spaces by injecting life into the room. The peace lily, mother-in-law’s tongue, aspidistra and maidenhair fern are all classic mainstays accustomed to indoor conditions. Even though indoor plants generally do well in homes, it’s important to place indoor plants close to a light source, so choose the sunniest spot in the house to create your urban plant sanctuary.

Beautiful blooms

Forget spending thousands of dollars on expensive interiors or new soft furnishings for your home. Instead, lift a room instantly with a beautiful plant. The stunning blush-pink and green leaves of the Red Valentine (Aglaonema commutatumare) like a living work of art, while the striking patterned foliage of the Rattlesnake Plant (Calathea insignis) make it a standout plant to place on the kitchen table, balcony or by the front door in a patterned statement pot.

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