Interior Design: Discover The Indoor Garden

Nature’s calming, curative effects are well-documented — just ask some of the literary greats. Henry David Thoreau, in 1854’s Walden, extolled “the tonic of wildness.” In William Wordsworth’s poem “Tintern Abbey,” the Romantic wrote of the “tranquil restoration” offered by the countryside. And, in his seminal essay Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson informed readers that “in the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man.”

And yet, more than 80 per cent of Canadians live not amongst nature, but rather in urban centres and cities — where pastoral pleasures lie decidedly out of reach. Luckily, there’s a new way for us to get our daily dose of the great outdoors: the blossoming, blooming trend of indoor gardens.

Growing plants indoors, of course, is nothing new. Whether it’s a home office stuffed with succulents or herby thickets of basil and oregano on kitchen windowsills, most homes contain at least a pop of greenery. But a recent upsurge in high-tech indoor gardening has supercharged our home harvests, using sustainable technologies including hydroponics (growing plants with a water-based nutrient solution rather than soil) to put the “synthetic” in “photosynthesis.” And these tools are not only useful, they’re also impressively designed — with styles ranging from traditional and mid-century modern to avant-garde and space-age.

Modern Sprout Indoor Kitchen Trend

Naturally, this means it can be tricky choosing the perfect planting system for your home. So, before you get lost in the greenhouse, we’ve rounded up a crop of our favourite indoor gardens to spring up this year. In March, Lettuce Grow released the Farmstand Nook, a system comprised of a bulbous-based unit that stretches like taffy to its narrower, LED-lit top. The system’s virtual sunlight has the power to keep up to 20 seedlings healthy, it comes fitted with automated watering and lighting programs, and it even includes a digital tool that monitors the pH of your water.

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And these systems get even smarter. The Gardyn Home Kit 3.0 not only has the capacity to grow 30 plants year-round in a space of just two square feet, but it’s also AI-powered by “Kelby,” a smart personal assistant that will send you push notifications when it’s time to prune, feed, or water. European brand Click and Grow offers several self-contained systems that are easier to operate than a Nespresso machine: the Smart Garden 27 is perhaps the best, with its oak stand and starter plant pods to grow basil, lettuce, and mini tomatoes. For smaller homes, there’s AeroGarden’s Sprout — a tiny, touch-sensitive system capable of growing everything from snapdragons to salad greens in the tightest corner of your kitchen.

GEN4 Indoor Gardens Trend

Even the more traditionally styled systems are still packed with smart tech. Modern Sprout’s Smart Growhouse may be inspired by Victorian-era terrariums, but you can control its brightness depending on plant types, and create and manage irrigation schedules from your smartphone. So, whether you’re a green-thumbed gardener looking to bring your hobby indoors, or a city-dweller pining for fresher air and a leafier life, there are plenty of planters, gardens, and grow-kits available to choose from. Consider the seeds of inspiration sown.