A Fragrant Houseplant Week and Blue Monday – Chandrika Thomas London

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Chandrika's Notes

CHANDRIKA'S Notes

A Fragrant Houseplant Week and Blue Monday

This year, I'm excited as we embrace the second week of the new year by celebrating Houseplant Week. This occasion holds a special place in my heart as it has been my lifelong passion,  and if it is unfamiliar to you, allow me to provide some insightful details and paint a vivid picture of what makes it so special.

Houseplant Week is an annual event observed every second week of January. In 2024, we'll be celebrating it from the 8th to the 15th. It was initiated by David Domoney, a chartered Horticulturist, with the intention of honouring the best of indoor gardening and guiding us in choosing the right plants for our homes. As a houseplant enthusiast, I'm pleased that such an event exists. It not only celebrates indoor gardening, which is my passion but also helps spread its joy and introduces it to a wider audience.

As delighted as I am about Houseplant Week, I've also learned about a phenomenon called Blue Monday scheduled for January 16th. Blue Monday is commonly considered the most melancholic day of the year, often associated with a mix of post-holiday blues, chilly weather, and financial pressures. Originally coined by a British psychologist named Dr. Cliff Arnall, the concept gained popularity as a day when various factors converge to create a sense of melancholy. Despite the validity of feeling down during this time, I firmly believe that we can take proactive steps to prevent it and avoid romanticising the negativity associated with Blue Monday. So, in the spirit of celebrating Houseplant Week and with the shared goal of shielding ourselves from the potential impact of Blue Monday, I've written this note to highlight the beauty of indoor gardening and its positive effects. As I share my insight I hope that my clients and supporters will join us in celebrating the special occasion and not give in to the negative energy that the blue Monday will bring.

 

MY LOVE FOR INDOOR PLANTS

 

Thirty years ago, every Saturday morning, my eldest son and I used to visit Portobello market with a basket to purchase fresh flowers. We enjoyed exploring the market, not only for flowers but also for fresh produce such as fruits, vegetables, and bread. Meeting people and engaging in conversations with the friendly store owners was an integral part of this delightful experience. Upon returning home, we relished the time spent arranging the freshly bought flowers into captivating displays. Each time, I made it a point to create a new arrangement, adding a personal touch to our home.

Over the years, I extended this tradition to my boutique, continuing to craft unique displays for both my home and the boutique. I expanded from flowers to embrace the beauty of cultivating indoor plants. Growing and nurturing them inside our house became a source of joy for me and my family, and for the past 12 years, we've been enjoying the presence of indoor plants, using them as ornaments to beautify our home and boutique.

Watching my plants grow has become a pleasurable experience, as I feel like they are telling me stories. For me, plants are a form of art that breathes life into our home. When visitors marvel at our collection of plants, it inspires them to consider incorporating greenery into their own homes. The shared admiration for our indoor plants has become a source of motivation for others to start cultivating nature within their homes. It always delights me to share my love for indoor plants with others.

And what makes indoor plants more special? They not only look good, but they also work wonders for the air; they can cleanse the air, making our home healthier and more dynamic.

Apart from their visual charm and air-purifying attributes, indoor plants play a substantial role in establishing a soothing ambience. The presence of lush greenery indoors has a soothing effect on the mood, fostering a sense of tranquillity and relaxation. During my yoga sessions, I intentionally choose to do my routine near my plants to enhance the peaceful feeling. Just the sight of them also lifts my mood, which elevates my overall sense of well-being.

 

THE POWER OF PLANTS AND AROMAS

 

Let's explore the detailed power of nurturing houseplants, breaking down the various aspects that make them impactful on our well-being:

 

HEALTH BENEFITS: Indoor plants have proven to have health benefits more than just an aesthetic display. They act as natural air purifiers, filtering out toxins and releasing oxygen, which can contribute to a healthier living environment. Research indicates that specific indoor plants, like snake plants and spider plants, can efficiently eliminate typical indoor pollutants. 

MOOD ENHANCEMENT: Indoor plants contribute positively to mental well-being, lifting mood and enhancing overall mental health. Their vibrant greenery creates a calming atmosphere, reducing stress and anxiety. As you go about your daily activities, the visual connection with nature can elevate your mood and contribute to an overall sense of well-being.

ENHANCED FOCUS AND PRODUCTIVITY: Studies indicate that incorporating indoor plants into work or study environments can enhance concentration and productivity. The greenery provides a refreshing element that helps reduce mental fatigue, allowing individuals to maintain focus for longer periods.

NATURAL DECOR: Indoor plants add a touch of nature to your living spaces, creating a harmonious blend of the outdoors and indoors. Acting as living art exhibits, they possess the ability to elevate the visual attractiveness of your home or workspace. The variety in shapes, sizes, and colours of indoor plants allows for creative and personalised decor.

LOW MAINTENANCE AND VARIETY: Numerous indoor plants boast low-maintenance qualities and adapt well to diverse conditions. Whether you prefer flowering plants, succulents, or leafy greens, there's a diverse range of indoor plants to suit every taste and lifestyle. 

CONNECTION WITH NATURE: Maintaining a connection with nature can be challenging. Indoor plants provide an opportunity to bring nature into your home, fostering a sense of connection with the natural world. This connection is particularly beneficial for urban dwellers who may have limited access to green spaces. 

THERAPEUTIC AND RELAXING: Caring for indoor plants can be a therapeutic activity. Nurturing and watching the growth of your plants can bring a deep sense of fulfillment. Engaging with nature in this way promotes mindfulness and relaxation, offering a welcome escape from the stresses of daily life.

 

Adding diffusers, perfumes, and scents to indoor gardening elevates the experience. Beyond the tactile and visual aspects of gardening, these fragrances introduce an olfactory dimension, creating a multi-sensory ambience. Whether mimicking the earthiness of soil or invoking calming floral scents, strategically using these fragrances enhances the overall atmosphere and positively influences mood and stress levels. Blending these scents seamlessly with the indoor garden not only masks any potential odours but also makes the space visually appealing and inviting. This personal touch aligns with the aesthetic of the greenery, transforming the indoor space into a sensory haven, where the beauty of nature is felt in every sense, offering a complete and immersive experience.

 

CREATING A SERENE SPACE

 

When selecting scents for home fragrances to complement indoor gardening, consider options that harmonise with the natural environment. Fresh and uplifting scents can beautifully complement the rejuvenating atmosphere of spring and the vibrant presence of indoor plants. 

 

To enhance the atmosphere, select diffuser scents that align with the natural elements present. Scents such as

 

PERSIAN ROSE

Persian Rose Diffuser

OUD & PATCHOULI

 

ROSE OUD

 

These scents provide a rich and earthy undertone, creating a sensory connection that complements the greenery. These selections not only introduce a delightful fragrance but also enhance the overall immersive experience of indoor gardening.

Experiment with the placement of diffusers to find the optimal locations that enhance the olfactory ambience without overwhelming the space. By integrating these suggestions, you have the opportunity to establish a balanced and aromatic indoor garden that captivates all the senses.

 

Writing this note has made me appreciate the true beauty of indoor gardening and the real reason behind celebrating Houseplant Week. Despite life's challenges, whether personal struggles or shared difficulties, let's remember to make the best out of life and always seek happiness. Houseplants symbolise resilience and growth, teaching us to find joy in nurturing life within our homes. So, no matter what happens, let the simple act of fostering greenery be a reminder to cultivate happiness amidst life's complexities.

Especially on this Blue Monday, a day that may carry a tinge of melancholy, let our indoor gardens serve as a refuge. Amid any emotional storm, the vibrant leaves and delicate blooms stand as a testament to endurance and the potential for new beginnings. May the presence of our houseplants remind us that even in the bluest moments, there is an opportunity to find solace and create moments of quiet joy.

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