Living with plants is quantifiably good for your health; they release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, eliminate harmful toxins from the air, regulate humidity and their presence has been proven to ease anxiety and stress.
As an ode to living with plants, IGNANT produced an editorial that visually discusses both the beauty and the benefits of adorning a contemporary space with living decor.
Traditions from around the world treat plants as harbingers of health and good fortune; so how do we harness this in our homes? Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese system that dates back as far as 4000 BC, offers a system for the organization of spaces that enhances the flow of ‘Qi’ – good energy. By following this careful program, one can arrange their home in an auspicious fashion that will ensure health and wellbeing through the movement of positive energy, and the expulsion of the negative. Feng Shui advocates for certain plants in certain positions to ensure good energy flow. Whilst some practitioners advice avoiding prickly characters like cacti, others say that healthy plants of any sort will bring positive energy to a space.
While such systems might seem esoteric, humans the world over approach plants in a similarly intuitive way. In our homes, we use plants to soften hard-edged spaces, to bring life and atmosphere to rooms when required, and to fill our need for natural interaction—despite our urban confines. We position our plants in our homes with care; considering where the rubber plant best sits, whether the fiddle leaf will survive a winter with little light, and how to get the mostera’s climbing limbs to travel up instead of out. We transpose the natural world to the confines of our built spaces, creating a sense of calm in the process.
In a powerful speech given in 1957, American marine biologist and nature writer Rachel Carson spoke about the vital connection between humans and nature: “Our origins are of the earth. And so there is in us a deeply seated response to the natural universe, which is part of our humanity”. In this way, bringing plants into our homes is an intensely human act, one that connects us to something primordial and necessary, something that overrides all that our contemporary conditions seek to separate us from. There is something deeply humanizing about watching tendrils of new life spring forth from the earth, in feeling the change of season through the crunch of leaves underfoot, and in the simple act of caring for, and cultivating a garden of house plants within your home.