Let’s face it: many of us were not born with a green thumb. Planting and gardening seems to be a daunting task for many, often out of fear of failure or a lack of inspiration. For a city full of green space from the National Mall to Rock Creek Park, the District does spoil us with inspiration for large screen spaces. However, we often miss out on this at home, but there are many ways to incorporate greenery into the home without breaking the bank and with limited space.
Green space at home is one of the greatest ways to be creative at home. No, you don’t have to have a big plot of land or a large budget. Planting something small, indoor or outdoor, expresses creativity. Besides providing more life to your home, there is an immeasurable benefit to your home’s value with the addition of plants and flowers in your home. With just a few creative techniques, you can transform your space into a green one instantly.
First, one of the largest complaints regarding a resistance to planting at home is a lack of outdoor space. For many, condominium and apartment living is our reality that doesn’t afford private outdoor space. As a trade off, many of these buildings are providing common or limited private planting space. For example, some apartment buildings offer rentable planting space on the roofs of their buildings. These rooftop green spaces are perfect for a small, efficient vegetable garden of seasonal foods. If you are lucky enough to have a small patio or balcony in your flat, consider planter’s boxes with vines or perennial flowers. For under $50, you can easily plant a few flowers off your balcony to add color to your space.
Additionally, all you need to have a plant is sunlight, an easy amenity to provide at home. Inside your home, planting can be as easy as a few pots and seeds to create an herb garden in the kitchen. Herbs such as basil, sage and oregano can be low maintenance, DIY projects that give your living space a little extra charm. After just a few moments and minimal effort, this small, colorful garden can easily rest and grow on your windowsill.
For the homeowner who wants to think larger in terms of plant size, think of planting greenery such as a fiddle leaf fig or peace lily, both of which require little attention, water and sunlight. Also, terrariums, a smaller alternative, can give a good visual effect to many spaces in the home, and are easy to maintain. As a rule of thumb think of plants as finishes in your home; like a tasteful accent pillow or throw rug, your planting can say a lot about your personal style.
Finally, sometimes living in the city can place too much of a constraint on your gardening ambitions. For needs outside the house, it may be time to look toward a community garden. The District is home to dozens of community gardens, from the District’s Department of Parks and Recreation-sponsored parks to private parks that sponsor some garden space. For many, community gardens provide an opportunity to interact with the community while also allowing ambition to grow plants you otherwise wouldn’t within the city.
Often small green spaces provide a sentimental value to the owner. The rate of return on a small section of greenery or a couple pots of herbs can be hard to quantify, but often times, this value is irreplaceable, and truly sets the home apart from others.