I’m not known for my indoor gardening but then I have the luxury of a reasonable size garden. The idea of not having any access to an outside space to grow things in horrifies me but I know that there are many who are in this position and long to green up their lives. IKEA have introduced a range of accessories to help those with little or no outside space to bring the outside indoors and they have asked me to review a couple of items.
First up is the Mini Greenhouse which I adore. I have a son at University who has tried to grow plants in his student room to make it feel more homely and has been frustrated at not achieving a more satisfactory result. I think he would love this particularly as it has such a distinctive design – he is after all a product design student. The greenhouse is made of metal and can either stand on a windowsill or be mounted on the wall. The sides and back have clear plastic sheeting to provide a little protection. As you can see I have filled mine with some pot plants (also from IKEA’s plant range) and I think it looks rather good. The interior is well made so any compost or water spillage would be contained. I notice that IKEA also have another mini greenhouse like the old Wardian Case which would be excellent for growing seeds in.
Then we have the plant stand which I have to admit I didn’t realise was a floor to ceiling stand when I agreed to the review. I also have to admit that we haven’t secured the pole to the ceiling and floor as I will be decorating the landing soon and also I really wasn’t sure what it would look like. I don’t think of my interior style as very modern or that of the typical IKEA customer but I have to admit that my son (who helped me) and I are quite taken with the plant stand. I decorated with some fairy lights (also from IKEA) which really jazz it up and create an interesting lighting feature in what is essentially a dead corner. Once the plants are added along with a water can (you guessed it from IKEA) we have a planty lighting feature – what more could an obsessive gardener like me ask for. You can adjust the individual trays to point in whatever direction you want and there is no reason why this has to go in a corner, it might provide a nice division half way along a long room. I struggled a little with assembly mainly because the instructions were pictures rather than words and I didn’t twig how the trays connected but as soon as my son explained it to me (it was obvious to him!) it all went together quickly.
The trays are all quite generous and will make watering easy as the sides will catch any excessive water. There are two larger trays at the bottom and four smaller ones further up the pole. I have to say that whilst this isn’t really my normal thing I am rather taken with it and it might get fitted post redecoration. If not I suspect my University student son will be after it for his first home. I also think this might be very good if you have a conservatory and want to add some height to your pot display.
Finally included in the pack was a herb growing set. The sets are very basic and I think would be excellent for encouraging children to grow plants. Despite my son being 23 we were greatly amused at how the compost pellets fluffed up when water was added – it was like playing mud pies again. The pots are essentially the same as the cups you get take away coffee in so all recycle-able. I have sown the seeds: basil, thyme and coriander and we will see how they do. They are now in the mini-greenhouse above.
I am really excited about this range and the other items on the IKEA website – its nice to see a modern and current approach to displaying plants in the house and I think this should appeal to frustrated urbanite gardeners.