Bringing the Indoors Out, and Outdoors In

We humans are never satisfied. We constantly strive to bring the outdoors inside, and the indoors out.

Houseplants are a prime example of our longing to bring nature into our tidy, climate-controlled homes. We expect these plants to perform as expected, to be clean and not shed, cause allergies or draw insects. They must appear green and lively, a verdant representation of nature at her most tame and appealing.

And it’s true; houseplants reduce stress in our interior environments. They clean our air, and function as “pets” for those who can’t have real animals to care for. Houseplants are a fascinating hobby, one that it’s all too easy to get carried away with.

Yet, we also try to bring our inside comforts outside. I suppose this is normal too, an attempt to tame the great outdoors. We bring our comfy, yet weather-proofed furniture, our statuary, our garden ornaments. We create outdoor “rooms” with landscaping and structures

We bring our houseplants outside, and we bring our outside plants in.

Granted, the line is a blurry one. Is the spider plant – that easy-to-grow staple – an indoor or outdoor plant? It does well in both locations, as long as its outdoor spot is fairly shady. What about the streptocarpus? It blooms beautifully in the outdoor bed of annuals, but can it be brought inside to bloom alongside the African violets?

I don’t know. Maybe. It depends on you, what conditions you have, and how much effort you’re willing to put forth.

It’s the nature of the never-satisfied human to be constantly wandering between the two worlds – freedom and security. Plants don’t care, though.

They bloom where they’re planted.

Perhaps we should do the same! It’s excellent advice.