Apartment oasis - Indoor gardening for healthier happier homes

apartment garden, indoor gardening, small space gardening, green living, sustainability

Living in the heart of the city doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the joy of gardening. As we know, getting in amongst the dirt, up close and personal with plants promotes happier healthier homes. It's still possible to unlock those same benefits living deep within an urban jungle. And to even up the ante a little. Or a lot. We can design specific systems, which not only survive, but thrive in an indoor environment. A controlled climate, and a little extra TLC, can really make flourishing plants your new sustainable BFFs.

New BFFs come in all shapes and sizes: plants, worms & wee dogs - Victoria Waghorn
Garden BFFs come in all shapes and sizes: plants, worms & wee dogs - Victoria Waghorn

Apartment friendly indoor gardens

It is possible to create your own urban oasis, reduce waste, enhance air quality, and embrace sustainable living - all within the limited confines of your own private Idaho apartment box! Let's deep dive into the world of indoor plants and uncover the incredible value an indoor garden brings to inner ciy dwellers.

Maximising limited space

Living in an apartment can be a squeeze with compromises in storage space, and little, if no room, to move outdoors. That need not deter you from enjoying the benefits of indoor gardening however, indeed it's often the precursor to begin! It's a license to be more creative & to explore space saving techniques like vertical gardening, hanging planters, whilst utilising window sills or balcony spaces. With a little nous, it's possible to transform even the tiniest apartment into a vibrant green haven.

Create your own inner (apartment) zen - Kampus Production
Create your own inner (apartment) zen - Kampus Production

Mood elevating

Winter can sometimes leave us feeling a bit depressed. Indoor plants have the power to turn that smile upside down and improve our overall wellbeing. Scientific studies have shown that being surrounded by greenery can reduce stress, boost mood, and enhance cognitive function.

You too can create an apartment oasis! - Victoria Waghorn
You too can create an apartment oasis! - Victoria Waghorn

Combating Indoor Pollution

Fresh air in the concrete jungle is a commodity and one that we can directly influence. Inner city environments can be thick with pollutants however indoor plants have the power to directly combat this. Not all plants will thrive indoors however, especially during winter –  dealing with low light and cooler temperatures. From resilient succulents to low maintenance ferns and vibrant flowering plants, there's a plant suitable for any spot and skill level, no matter how ungreen your thumbs may be – once you understand their specific requirements.

Plants known for their air-purifying qualities, such as peace lilies (Spathiphyllum wallisii), spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) and Chinese evergreens (Aglaonema commutatum) are tried and true staples. And never forget mother-in-law's tongue (Dracaena trifasciata) - an unfortunate name for a omnipotent beauty which is almost impossible to kill. (Not a double dare!) These green allies will help improve air quality, creating a fresher and healthier living environment where reality meets your mirage.

Fringed by an urban mirage - Maria Orlova
Fringed by an urban mirage - Maria Orlova

Indoor Worm Farming - Compact composting

No outdoor space for composting? No worries! Limited space need not dampen your inner zero waste warrior. It's still possible to recycle and use your kitchen scraps. Indoor worm farming is a space efficient solution, that allows you to transform organic waste into nutrient rich worm castings and liquid fertiliser right in your apartment. Explore the benefits of indoor worm farming – from reducing waste to producing natural fertiliser and around 1000 extra friends!

The Farm makes indoor and balcony worm farming super easy! - Victoria Waghorn
The Farm makes indoor and balcony worm farming super easy! - Victoria Waghorn

Bokashi composting

Fermenting comes in all shapes & sizes and bokashi is oft overlooked. Although not strictly as delicious as kim chi, your garden will find the end product delicious! This is a method which is perfect for apartment dwellers. The anaerobic process utilises microbes to ferment organic waste such as kitchen scraps into black gold for your indoor plant clean air army. (Check out Urban Composter, a stylish Australian-made Bokashi bin )

Edible greens - food security pockets

Why limit your indoor gardening to ornamentals when you can fast-track from garden to table, to err, just table? Winter need not be devoid of fresh organic greens without spending a fortune offsite. Microgreens, fresh herbs and even vegetables can flourish indoors directly benefiting from a controlled climate,  watchful gaze and immediate access to all that bokashi love!

The satisfaction of growing your own tomatoes and basil indoors in the cool months knows no greater smugness level. From windowsill herb gardens to compact hydroponics systems the possibilities are endless. Hello food security and a new more resilient you!

Winter windowsill tomatoes well within reach - Photo by Bacho Nadiradze

Cradle to cradle urban living

Growing indoors offers a plethora of wins beyond 'mere' food waste reduction. Implementing water conservation techniques such as water collection and re-use, or using self-watering systems helps minimise water wastage too. Additionally positioning plants near natural light sources reduces energy consumption, it's not necessary to acquire special lights – unless your pad is basically a bat cave. Using your homegrown fertiliser, via your bokashi or worm farm, creates a mini cradle to cradle cycle in your very own living room!

Clean air plant party corner - Huy Phan
Clean air plant party corner - Huy Phan

Cultivating community

Increasingly apartment gardening is gaining momentum. There's a real opportunity to create community by sharing and swapping tip, tricks, cuttings, produce, worms and wee (probably not yours, but who are we to judge?) with your neighbours. Online communities, local gardening groups and urban communities provide a wealth of knowledge and resources where it's possible to connect with like-minded individuals. Find one near you!

It's a green wrap!

Living in an apartment in the heart of the city shouldn't deter you from experiencing the joys of gardening and sustainable living beyond the tagline. Seize the opportunity to realise your space as a self-created urban oasis filled with thriving greenery, improved air and a mini connection with nature! Through space-saving techniques, indoor composting and growing your own edible greens it is possible to create a living breathing environment in the limited space a city apartment offers. Your inner tranquility awaits!

Inner tranquility often comes in small packages - Victoria Waghorn
Inner tranquility often comes in small packages - Victoria Waghorn

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About Victoria Waghorn

Storyteller + Designer of Permaculture, Aquaponics, Film and Buildings