Bringing Outdoors Indoors


Hello lovely people. It’s been a really long time since I wrote a blog here. This is because I’ve been really poorly as you know, with Fibromyalgia and with that, and moving house, and life in general being quite challenging, I had to make some choices about how I spend my time.

IMG_1849So, in the permaculture principle of apply self regulation and accept feedback I realised that to make my life more energy efficient, I was going to have to cut back some of my activities for a while and focus on the ones that were the most necessary. Basically I had to make my life more simple. So I stopped blogging for a bit and just sat back and observed how I was interacting within my new environment, watched what came up in my garden, and noticed how I used my house. I also spent most of my time also just resting and walking in nature for inspiration.

From being so ill over the years I’ve realised that when things get tough, you need to focus on your inner most zones first. Getting myself feeling stable in zone 00 is primary. Then I can work on zone 0 inside the house. I’m still working on these innermost zones. We’re still working on the decoration and furnishing of our house, and slowly slowly (in the principle of small and slow solutions) we’re achieving our goals.

I plan to show you in future blogs: how we’ve decorated the house so far, what resources we’ve used, what I plan for the garden, and what little creative projects I’ve achieved.


Today I want to share with you something creative I’ve been doing this week:IMG_1840

OBSERVATION: I had been noticing that because my energy levels have been so low and we had been observing the garden rather than doing anything new out there, I felt I was missing out on gardening and the joy that it gives me. The only way I could connect with nature was to go for little walks around my immediate area, and sometimes this felt too far away and I wanted to feel more connected to nature inside my own home. So I decided that it was time to bring a bit of the outdoors, indoors; I felt the solution was going to have to be houseplants. Houseplants really improve the indoor environment, helping to increase oxygen in the air and I have also heard about claims that they can help filter Wifi and other pollutants.

LIMITING FACTORS: I knew from experience that I am generally rubbish at looking after houseplants – I have killed more than my fair share of them over the years due to neglect! So the design was going to have to include houseplants that were hard to kill. I was getting a lot of inspiration from browsing Pinterest and I’ve been posting inspiring images onto my board Indoors-Outdoors in which I attempt to find ways of blurring the lines between garden and home. IMG_1843But a lot of the plants I liked in their trendy-looking pots can be expensive to buy, so I was going to need some cheap ways of acquiring them. We also have 2 young cats, who when were kittens would chew everything that looked green in the house – we lost a lot of succulents to chewing! I noticed that since they’d been able to go outside, they had stopped chewing our meagre sad looking collection.

RESEARCH: I found out which houseplants were the easiest to look after and the most hardy. Plants like Aloe Vera, Spider plant, Rubber plant, Mother-in-law’s Tongue and Peace Lily. I told my husband which plants I liked and he started looking out for them on freecycle. I studied how to transform ordinary pots into pretty ones, looked for antique pots in flea markets, and looked through what we already had at home. I also looked at the plants we had which had survived the kitten attacks to see if I could divide them and make new plants.

DESIGN AIMS: IMG_1850To have great looking houseplants in attractive pots, which were in the optimum location to get attention and therefore what they needed to look attractive and healthy. To give me a little bit of indoor gardening to do at a scale which I could manage.

IMPLEMENTATION: I found some lovely little antique hand-thrown terracotta pots at a local flea market and bought seven for £14. My husband found a massive spider plant on freecycle with lots of ‘babies’ ready for transplanting. So I repotted all the babies into the new pots. So this was a relatively cheap little project with great results.

We looked in a local garden centre and found a small package of 3 pots with succulents (one had died) at the reduced price of just £2. I found the 3 old stone pots which we’d brought with us from our old place (I think they were car boot sale finds) and transplanted the 2 surviving plants we’d bought – a cactus and a succulent – into them. In the 3rd stone pot I planted up a ‘money tree’ succulent (one which had broken off its parent and survived and rooted in another pot). See photo above.

IMG_1852My husband also bought me a ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’ for my birthday, so we bought a new pot for that too. We also found a lovely Peace Lily in our local supermarket for a very reasonable price – it now sits happily on the sideboard where we notice when it’s leaves begin to droop and it needs water. And I’m presently in the middle of painting the 3 little pots which came in the £2 package – I’m doing them black with white spots and white with black spots. And I’ve pulled out some struggling Aloe Vera babies from the parent pot, and they are doing well in their new little homes.

It’s still work in progress, but I’m really pleased with the results so far. And I’ve really enjoyed doing a little bit of gentle gardening indoors, in little steps, on days when I can manage it. Please do comment with any houseplant tips!

And here is a link to Holmgren’s Permaculture Principles which I was referring to in this blog.



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