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Oct. 10, 2019 | Donna Balzer

October in the garden: Bring the outdoors inside your new condo

Mowing the lawn and trimming the trees are just a distant memory now. You are safely tucked into your new condo and all you have left to do is decorate!

Not so fast. If you want the benefits nature offers without the associated yard work, it is time to bulk up on houseplants for your new pad. Do it for your health, happiness and creativity, according to author Florence Williams.

In her new book The Nature Fix, Williams says being in nature is standard preventative medicine in Japan.

"We work hard to make our homes and yards a certain way, and when we can afford to, we pay considerably more for residences or hotel rooms right on the beach, or in the pastoral ninth hole, or a quiet, tree-lined street," she writes. "We all want our starter castles on the corner of prospect and refuge (and) these habitat preferences are remarkably consistent across cultures and eras."

If you recently moved to a garden-care-free condo, consider following Williams's advice of experiencing nature. You can start by bringing nature indoors. You will benefit from the calming, relaxing state we all achieve when we are surrounded by green and growing plants.

Adding an assortment of green potted plants, such as philodendrons, spider plants and palms, is a good start. If light is shining in through a south-facing window, add blooming tropicals like clivia, African violets, orchids and anthuriums.

Smell and sound are essential to duplicate the experience of nature in your home. Williams says misting forest essence into hospitals even speeds healing, so consider buying an essential oil diffuser or adding scented blooming plants like stephanotis or Hoya.

Finally, using a bowl filled with smooth rocks and a small recirculating water pump, you can bring the sound of trickling water and some extra humidity into your condo.

Will a few houseplants work as well as a walk in the woods to help you relax and de-stress? Probably not. But decorating your new condo with living plants, for those times in between hikes and camping excursions, is a close second.

Nature is a fix for what ails you, so don't let the lack of trees and lawn take away your "condo calm" indoors. Your new home awaits you, and it is about to become your green and glorious refuge.

For more great garden information, visit

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