Greenery For The Great Indoors
Research is increasingly telling us that embracing greenery within a building, home or venue provides a number of benefits, including stress reduction, and improvement of moods and air quality. So how can a venue successfully integrate an indoor garden into its premises?
The biophilia hypothesis recognises the innate desire in humans to seek out connections with nature. A shift of emotion and an unloading of stress are felt after a weekend in the country, exploring rainforests and taking in fresh air, so it comes as no surprise that indoor gardens have become the next big thing for hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs and gaming establishments.
There is no doubting the benefits of indoor greenery, says the fittingly named Fleur Anderson of interior landscaping solutions company Stem and Stamen. “Indoor gardens bring a natural energy to a space, and biophilic qualities are proven to bring a sense of calm and wellbeing to a building’s occupants.”
A restaurant in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs, Caulfield Glasshouse, embraces greenery across its interior and exterior design. A lush hedge borders the venue’s patio space while hanging pot-plants decorate the ceiling to produce a variety of green tones overhead. Meanwhile, cascading ferns and plants hang from the ceiling inside the Throwing Stones bar, interspersed with black triangular lighting fixtures.
Drooping planters are in high demand at the moment, Anderson says. “Plants that cascade, such as the amarantha or asparagus fern, create a sense of joy and wonder. A great effect can be achieved by installing the plants at great heights and allowing them to cascade down through building voids.”
Greenwalls are also growing in popularity, according to Anderson. As the name suggests, greenwalls are walls that are completely or partially covered in plants, simultaneously offering privacy and indoor vegetation, although they are also available in outdoor varieties. Greenwalls can also be permanent fixtures while others are more temporary.
“[Stem and Stamen’s] greenwalls, such as the Grid Canopy, which is integrated into the building fabric, make the plants part of the fitout rather than a stand-alone ‘look at me’ greenwall,” Anderson explains. “It’s a much more subtle way to have a greenwall inside.”
While living, growing plants are ideal for indoor gardens, larger venues can sometimes experience a lack of natural light in certain areas, making it a challenge to keep plants alive and lush. In this case, naturally preserved plants could be the solution because they are captured freshly cut through the use of an immersion formula that retains them in the same green state for years without any need for watering, soil or light.
“Using preserved plants means you avoid maintenance costs, and there’s no need for any of the natural elements that plants need to grow,” says Anderson. “The beauty of preserved plants is they only need the occasional dusting. We’ve actually had preserved plants in our office for years. They look great and haven’t been dusted at all.”
“You might want to try to place preserved plants out of reach so to avoid breakage. Our moss, in particular, is a hand-magnet – people of all ages are compelled to submerge their hands in it and pull it apart,” she advises.
“A mix of preserved plants inside and living plants near the windows is an ideal way to allow greenery to flow throughout the entire space.”