Plants are more than just decoration. They are both nature and art – and they can help make us happy and healthy, too.
House plants were long considered the epitome of small-town convention, brass watering cans the implements of the petty bourgeoisie, and nothing was more old-fashioned than a pergola. In the ‘70s, the windowsills were full of geraniums and cyclamens, replaced in the ‘80s by yucca palms and ficus trees that eked out a miserable existence in student flats before finally disappearing for good. For 20 long years, we banished nature from our homes.
Now green is back in style. The trend today is »urban jungle«: plant hangers from the ceilings, greenery sprouting out of hanging pots, boxes and baskets. Blame the Internet.
Users share their green creations on Pinterest and Instagram; Scandinavian interior blogs extol the virtues of yesterday’s house plants: rubber trees, tropical palms and succulents are celebrating a revival. The hype is leaving an economic impact. Plants worth 1.5 billion euros were sold in Germany the year before last. But much has changed.
These days, people don’t leave their palm trees standing uninspired in the corner anymore. The plants are curated, green tones are combined, cachepots are coordinated, cactuses are arranged like works of art. And today’s florists offer more than just baccara roses or Biedermeier bouquets tied with silk ribbons and lace. On sale are wild flowers, twigs hung with fruit, entire branches of a magnolia tree, or individual stalks of the 1960s favourite Monstera. That has little resemblance with the arrangements of yesteryear.
Some beautiful examples can be found in Evergreen – Living with Plants published by Gestalten. The book introduces us to flower artists; shows us planted roofs, rooms and urban projects; and gives us some useful gardening tips. Just leafing through the book is a lot of fun. And speaking of good cheer: flowers keep you healthy too. A study by NASA found that plants filter the air, release fresh oxygen, are natural humidifiers and absorb noise. The Clean Air Study was initially launched to find out how to optimize the climate aboard a space station. The answer: with plants. Plants produce oxygen, reduce the concentration of harmful gases in an enclosed room, rid the air of pollutants and have a sound-dampening effect. Other studies have shown that green plants have a soothing influence on people.
Already Sigmund Freud knew that. »Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts,« he wrote. Who knows. But one thing is clear: Plants make life a little bit more beautiful.
What do you mean »it doesn’t get any greener«? Gone are the times when sad-looking succulents graced the hotel lobby. In August, a new Vienna House Easy is opening in the centre of Leipzig – with plant stations for lots of green. Just two minutes from the main station, rooms can already be reserved now. So come discover this hotel in all its green splendour.
STAY | Vienna House Easy Leipzig