Inspiration can come from seeing the extent of what may be possible.
Meet Summer Rayne Oakes, a Brooklyn resident who has turned her apartment into a living, breathing plant-scape, with over 500 plants.
It all started with a single 4 feet-tall fiddleleaf fig plant, which has now taken over the entire bedroom ceiling. Over time, Oakes has added a wide variety of herbs, fruits, and vegetables; as well as loads of ornamental plants. Something of a biodiversity hotspot, in urban NYC.
Every possible surface and container have been used - green walls adorn the walls, small greenhouses, mason jars and even recycles tea tins.
Oakes with an Asparagus Fern in a Terracotta Pot
Her apartment could be described as an inner city country house but with clever adaptations to let the plant-scape thrive. LED lighting system, vermiculture kit, compost bin and sub-irrigation system - these all serve to water, feed and provide additional lighting the green companions.
Taking care of 500 living organisms might sound like a stressful undertaking... but not so, says Oakes:
Watering the plants takes “about a half an hour every day, which I view as more of a meditative experience,” Oakes says. “And then once a week I probably spend a good hour, hour and a half doing composting, clipping back, that kind of stuff.”
Having 500 plants may be a stretch for many of us, but Oakes' example gives us an insight into what might be possible.
Some more pics from Oakes apartment: