04/22/16 2:10pm
Home fernishings: How to turn your apartment into an oasis of greenery, and keep it alive

Succulents sunning by the window. Bridget McFadden/Brokelyn

Know why there’s no such thing as a “lamppost hugger?” Because the urban jungle isn’t something you want to embrace and nurture the way you do a tree. And if, like me, breathing in the scent of New York City’s 12 million strangers has you craving a whiff of sweet soil at the end of a long day, then it’s time to get some houseplants. Why? For starters, they purify your air, and transform your paint and plaster quarters into a glowy green sanctuary. Not to mention the psychological benefits. With their self-contained root systems, a few good houseplants can help you feel more rooted in this sprawling metropolis. Plants are self-sustaining hustlers, just like us New Yorkers. Everything that a plant needs to survive is tucked into its terra cotta pot! Well, almost everything.

It also needs you. By tending to houseplants, you’re take an active role in an interspecies relationship. Not the kind you’re thinking of, though. This one is known at “kinship,” and it’s way wholesome. Take it from a bona fide plant whisperer and bryologist (a.k.a moss expert) Robin Wall Kimmerer, who says of plant-human kinship: “[It’s] like a family, we help each other out. […] What is good for life is good for all life, whether it’s green or two-legged or anything other kind.”

What’s good for plant life is good for your life, and here are a few aces that will thrive in your apartment. You can pick up any of these at your corner flower shop — my personal favorite is World of Flowers in Greenpoint — and they’ve all got some wild superpowers. (more…)