Do you use houseplants to help create a calming atmosphere in your home? A little bit of greenery can work wonders indoors, adding texture, colour and the soothing power of nature to a neutral room.
It’s no surprise that today’s hectic pace of life is leading to an increase in hobbies that help us to chill out. Caring for houseplants is one such pastime which is experiencing a big surge in popularity.
PG tips Green Tea have recently conducted the UK’s first Pot Plant Census, which shows caring for plants is a top method of achieving wellbeing.
The survey reveals that 20% of us feel stressed on a daily basis, and almost half of us use plants as an escape from the pressures of the digital world. Other relaxing pastimes such as baking, yoga and knitting scored strongly, but it was plant care that topped the list, with a quarter of us now tending to plants regularly. It would appear that many of us also take it a step further, with 12% of the UK admitting that they talk, sing or play music to their plants to help them thrive!
Within the plant care category, there’s one particular trend which is really taking off right now: topiary. Part gardening, part craft, topiary is the art of trimming a plant to a particular shape or size. Images of miniature bonsai trees and garden hedges pruned into elaborate shapes are probably springing straight to mind, but topiary is no longer reserved for experts or people with big gardens, and anyone can give it a go. In particular, younger generations are really embracing it as a retro way to manage stress.
In light of the Pot Plant Census results, PG tips Green Tea wants to spread the word about the rejuvenating effects of plant care. Backed by leading TV horticulturist Frances Tophill, they’re encouraging the nation to ‘Grow for Green’ and re-generate their homes and offices by bringing the outdoors inside.
As part of the campaign, PG tips Green Tea have challenged me to embrace the growing topiary trend, and have sent me my own Desktop Monkey Topiary to take care of. Isn’t he awesome?
The kids love him and I can’t wait for him to start filling out so that I can really get pruning. I’ve been sent some basic care instructions, and I’m looking forward to taking care of him and hopefully benefiting from the calming effect he has.
That said, I have a bit of a tendency to neglect houseplants, so when my monkey arrived I was a bit worried about keeping him alive. Judging by the care instructions he’s pretty low-maintenance though; I need to give him a good water once a week, and keep him in a cool place – partial shade is ideal.
When adding houseplants to your home, it’s worth thinking about where you will get the maximum benefit from them. I’ve put my monkey on my desk, which gives him the light and temperature he likes, and also reminds me to take care of him. It’s great that he’s easily in view while I’m working; if things get a bit too hectic, he’s there as a little reminder to focus on something relaxing for a few minutes.
Since he’s the PG Tips Monkey, his presence also reminds me to take regular breaks and keep hydrated. I am LOVING the new PG Tips Strawberry Cupcake Green Tea. It’s delicious, comforting and refreshing.
Having spent some time finding the perfect spot for my topiary, I can see how plants can be used just like an ornament or accessory when styling a room. Smaller plants work well on shelves or coffee tables, while larger plants look great on the floor. I like this idea of grouping a few small plants together to create impact, and I could use my Monkey Topiary as the centrepiece:
I also love how you can use the actual containers to make a statement with colour, pattern or texture, like these beautiful copper containers. These ones going up the stairs look gorgeous and I’d love to try this with topiary:
In fact, Pinterest is so full of houseplant styling inspiration, I’ve created a whole board.
Before I read up on how to look after my monkey, I assumed that topiary involves lots of regular, intricate clipping with the shears. It turns out my new pal only needs a trim once a month; I think I can cope with that!
What do you think? Will you be embracing the houseplant trend, or maybe even having a go with your own topiary? I’ll be giving you regular social media updates on my monkey’s progress, and another update at the end of the challenge. Stay tuned to see how we’re getting on.
This is a commissioned post for PG tips Green Tea.