By Shelley Eades
-If you’re anything like me, you are doing your best to keep your head above water in the deluge of 2020. Thankfully there’s an end in sight, forty-four days to be exact, and we can all wish for some much-needed grace come 2021.
In the meantime, we can carve out peaceful interludes for ourselves. A great way to do this is by creating a safe haven to suit your style no matter how big, small, thrifty, lavish, quiet, or rock and roll!
There are many ways to do this; plants, herbal teas made from fresh garden cuttings, candles, bath salts, good books, a patch of sun by the window, and all kinds of herbal tinctures and remedies. The Scarlet Sage Herb Co, and Rainbow Grocery are just a few of our favorite local places to pick up some of these items. And of course, we’ve got you covered on the plants and garden decor front!
When I was a kid, my sanctuary was a treehouse nestled in a large Juniper about twelve feet up, scented with fresh juniper berries and sage. I’d go up there to read books, have tea parties, and pretend I was worlds away.
Here at Urban FarmGirls, we recently created an indoor sanctuary affectionately named "The Green Room." In the wake of Covid-19, Tina felt we needed a refuge within the workplace -a space to take a moment for ourselves.
The Green Room is brimming with house plants, tillandsia, dried arrangements, good books, a lifetime collection of artifacts, trinkets, and fine art. The green velvet couch lent to the name, topped with cushy pillows and favorite blankets.
The room is home to many beloved plants, especially the Fiddleleaf fig trees canopying the room’s corners. Tina's been nurturing one of the Ficus lyrata for over ten years now.
When I ask Tina about a common thread in creating a sanctuary, she deliberates on how this ties into landscaping and garden design. When clients reach out to have their outdoor spaces transformed, Tina always approaches the design as an extension of their indoor living space.
“In urban spaces, it is essential to create private, intimate, peaceful places where one can connect with nature,” Tina says.
“Tell me more,” I nudge, “how can we emulate this kind of refuge in our indoor spaces?”
She happily obliges, “Indoor spaces yield endless ways to create tranquility and beauty in the home with plants. Plants do a lot to create the peace and happiness we crave.”
Tina goes on, “Not only are they healthy and beneficial for your home (producing oxygen and purifying the air), but the simple act of nurturing plants is proven to be therapeutic. Caring for plants and spending time with them has been shown to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. With all the stressors of this year, plants can be an easy and enjoyable way to find refuge.”
Some of Tina’s indoor favorites are Streptocarpus saintpaulia, Bromeliads, Tillandsia, Pothos varieties, and Pilea peperomioides, to name a few. That’s Latin for African Violets, subtropical flowering plants, Devil’s Ivy, air plants, and Chinese money plants!
And those Ficus in the Green Room, the fiddle-leaf figs; They’re tropical, well suited for soft light and mild San Francisco humidity. Tina inherited one and bought the other two after finishing an interiorscape full of Fiddle-leaf figs.
Over the years, we’ve watched them grow and take on a life of their own as they extend their arms high and wide. A mature canopy reaches over our heads now, giving us our very own urban jungle sanctuary in the Green Room -our sweet eclectic space to duck into for a cup of tea, a good book, respite, peace, and reflection.
We'd love to hear about your creative sanctuaries, leave us a comment below!