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Why is plant parenthood, or indoor gardening, good for you?

How to cope with dark evenings and why indoor gardening is good for you. 

After the clocks turn back in autumn, it's time to enjoy cosy evenings indoors rather than out. There's no reason to abandon your gardening delight, however. There are plenty of ways in which to enjoy indoor gardening whilst still appreciating your autumn and winter garden on the other side of the window pane. One of the most rewarding things you can do is to give yourself the visual treat of a little lighting in the garden. You don't want to flood the space with artificial brightness, however. This disturbs the natural world and confuses wildlife.

How to light your garden

Any sort of subtle illumination is intriguing. Brilliant spot lights might deter burglars but they're not generally very pretty. Some gentle illumination washing over steps and paths is always helpful. It allows you to admire the changes in levels within your garden and see the general circulation route from the comfort of the home. It also lights your way and can encourage you and your visitors to explore. Not to mention the safety value.

There are several different options for the installation of lighting. The neatest would be built into the original garden design, with protected underground cabling and lighting fitments slotted into walls and steps. Other cabled lighting can be 'retro-fitted', with stake lights pushed into soil and cabling sunk underground.  You might like some atmospheric up-lighting of stems, tree trunks and special features, and special 'up-lighter' stakes are ideal for this purpose. Free-standing ornaments with lighting often make intriguing points of interest too.

This solar-powered peacock sculpture needs nothing but sunshine in order to illuminate a space. You might also enjoy a few lanterns, tealights or fairy lights which tend to twinkle in a tantalising manner. They could be battery-operated; plugged into a nearby outdoor mains switch, solar-powered or even candle light.  There's something magical about dark nights and glowing warmth. Just ask Father Christmas and his merry band of elves.


Eco-friendly lighting

Consider solar lighting for the ultimate in eco-friendly options. Modern solar power is generally powerful enough to provide light during the evening, then it can gradually fade during the night. You never need to remember to turn these on or off, and there are virtually no running costs. Solar pond pumps to power fountains are also a viable idea. They often include LEDs for added interest. There are many advantages: you have pump power when it's bright enough for you to be outdoors; you don't need to plug into the mains and you never have to think about switching on or off.

Solar powered party lights with LED bulbs (above). These are highly efficient and cheap to run.

Indoor gardening

There are other ways to extend your gardening season. Indoor gardening, for example, has increased in popularity enormously over the last ten years. The value of the indoor plant market in the UK is said to be more than £2.2bn, according to the Flowers & Plants Association. And it seems that millennials just can't get enough of house plants. Indoor plants are definitely on trend, both at home and at work. There are plenty of offices that have what they describe as break out areas, clothed with plans and maybe even a vertical green wall or two. Why?

Above: the pleasing forms of Begonia rex, indoor ferns; Calathea; Alocasia 'Bambino Arrow'  and more.


It is widely accepted that plants make us feel better. They increase productivity, help alleviate tiredness and depression, improve or prevent sick building syndrome and generally cheer people up. The technical name for this is biophilia. It has been shown that we humans seek out connections with plants and nature. Indeed, we need this relationship as we have a genetic bond to the natural world, strengthened by thousands of years of living amongst nature. It's easy to see why indoor gardening is good for you.

Our general love of plants shows an innate attraction to life forms that are good for us.

Interior design

Most interior design incorporates some sort of plant life. And those that are devoid of any such greenery have a distinctive air of barrenness. Basically, life without plants is dull! Stately house plants bring great structure, form and interest to a room. Hanging plants use space that is often otherwise ignored and shelves provide a perfect spot for plants that have cascading foliage. Not to mention the air-cleaning properties that these life-forms provide. They absorb toxins from the air, produce energy-giving oxygen and even dispose safely of bacteria. It is therefore fair to say that plants are good for both your mental and physical health. What's not to love about indoor gardening?

And one for Halloween! This spider clearly loves the 'monkey mask' plant which naturally forms holes in the leaves.

By Perfect Plants


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