Lavender, Gurnsey's Seed & Nursery Co.

A few weeks ago, the Australian horticulturalist Jamie Durie stopped by my office to talk about story ideas we might collaborate on. Jamie is the charming and good-looking Australian host of HGTV’s Outdoor Room. He’s also writing his eighth book, which will be published by Harper Collins later this year. Among the things we talked about were not only how a well-designed garden can boost the value of your home, but how plants can boost your mood. I asked him if he’d share a few money-wise ways to grow and use plants to enrich your surroundings and brighten your spirits. Here are a few of his tips.

•Plant an herb or vegetable garden. Growing your own herbs and vegetables not only provides you with an abundance of healthy, organic and tasty food to eat, it can also save you money and help the planet by reducing what you spend at the supermarket, limiting the time and gas spent on getting to the supermarket and cutting down on the environmental impact of transporting food from where it initially grows to your kitchen. “Regardless of whether you have a balcony, a small courtyard or a large country estate, growing herbs and vegetables is an easy and satisfying way of saving money and staying healthy,” says Jamie.

•Add low-maintenance indoor plants to your rooms. “Plants are natural air purifiers,” says Jamie. “There have been a number of studies that have proven ornamental indoor plants are capable of removing harmful chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air.” As well as the air cleaning power of plants, there is a large body of evidence that houseplants have a strong psychological effect on people and the spaces they inhabit, according to Jamie. “People react to the beauty and calming effects of plants indoors,” he says. “They also help to soften a space and make it are more relaxed and inviting place to live or work.”

•Place beautifully scented plants near a window or door. There aren’t many tropical indoor plants that have strong scents. But by growing scented plants close to your house, you can throw open the windows in spring and summer and let the amazing aromas of plants such as jasmine, lavender, or gardenias waft into your home. “It is a wonderfully evocative way of inviting your garden into your home,” says Jamie. “Another lovely idea is to plant scented plants along the borders of your entry pathway—as you brush against them they will release their fragrance.”

To learn about other budget-wise, eco-friendly landscape ideas, look for my book Green Living by Design. Or you can get an e-book version at Barnes &

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebookshare on TumblrPin on PinterestGoogle+Email to someone

Leave a reply