The Home Office area in the ‘My Home Garden’ display is a small one but it is packed with DIY gardening ideas that visitors can look forward to. Note that the office environment is often air-conditioned and that allows one to grow some cool-growing plants in the tropics. These include African violets, Pelargonium, a range of foliage begonias, hostas and even orchids!
One piece of furniture in this area is a work table with a clear glass top and below it hangs a platform that is illuminated with fluorescent lights. The lights, when turned on during office hours, can support the growth of a selection of low-light plants.
Much of the DIY ideas can be found on the hanging platform located below the glass panel! How about a hanging pot made from recycled Milo cans that is cladded with a cork board so each doubles up as a mini-notice board? You can pin notes onto it! Cheap and easy to make!
Marimo balls are quatic algae balls that hail from selected lakes around the world, the best known is Lake Ikan in Japan. These balls require bright light to grow and they make good candidates for displaying inside small recycled jam jars with laid with decorative mulch at the base! Remember to change the water of this mini aquatic garden once a week! This is another easy to construct bottle garden that serves as a very affordable gift idea.
The next idea is a rock bonsai which utilises brown volcanic rocks as planters. These volcanic rocks are easily available from local aquarium shops and often come with holes in them. These holes can be used to grow your plant. Shown here is a succulent plant that requires very little watering and little growing media to grow in. You can also use cacti species too. One thing to note is that there is a need to bring this succulent out to be exposed to direct sunlight periodically as fluorescent light alone is not sufficient to grow these sun-worshippers properly.
The next home office plant display idea is the ‘Mossy Landscape’. My team members bought square picture frames bought from IKEA, waterproofed the internal space of the frames and planted moss into them! What resulted was a neat-looking terrarium where moisture is kept in and all one needs to do is to spray some water to replenish the water supply every few weeks. Mosses are great candidates for this set-up as they do not grow too tall and thrive under bright light. The internal space is saturated with water vapour, making it conducive for mosses to grow.
The next idea is a product that was loaned to us by Candy Floriculture Pte Ltd, a local landscape industry partner. It would call this a very simple hydroculture cum aquaponics system that allows one to grow a range of indoor houseplants that require little nutrients to grow on a table top. Most of us would know what these plants are and they include common aroids and dracaenas which can virtually survive for long periods with just tap water! This system allows one to grow a plant as well as keep a pet fish in it! The fish’s waste materials serve as food for the plant, albiet in very small amounts only.
Going away from the table, we now focus on the displays on the window. If sunlight streams into your office desk, why not make a simple screen that doubles up as a mini vertical garden? Shown in this example, you can even hook on test tubes that hold water for some beautiful flowers! If you don’t fancy cut-flowers, you can attach various small airplant (Tillandsia) on this DIY curtain.
The last idea is to help plant-lovers create more space in a office to grow one’s plants (can also be extended to a home environment too!). What you need is a ladder and you can hang a series of containers onto its rungs using metal container holders widely available from local nurseries. It is recommended to secure the upper end of the ladder onto the wall.
Locate plants that need more light in the middle so that sunshine that streams through the window can directly hit them. Those that need less light can be situated higher or lower along the length of the ladder. As you can imagine, by hanging potted plants on a ladder, you are actually constructing a vertical garden!