Walk into any new building and you are guaranteed to find planting on various scales at the heart of it because indoor planting – the incorporation of living plants into the workplace – whether it be office, shop or hotel has never been more popular than it is today.
Part of this is fashion as it’s a major trend this year, but actually it’s a trend that’s been building for years now as employers understand the benefits of plants in the workplace – not only do they look stunning, but studies show that they improve physical and emotional wellbeing, and productivity too.
Interior landscaping is now one of the fastest growing sectors within the construction industry but experts Indoor Garden Design (IGD) were instrumental in raising awareness of the importance of plants. For more than 40 years, they have been bringing nature into the workplace, making them the UK’s number one indoor planting company with an array of prestigious clients such as Sky, UBS, The Ivy and The Connaught, as well as an impressive collection of awards, including Gold and Best in Show for Hotel Floristry Exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
IGD works with workplace, leisure or education space, luxury hotel lounge, store or restaurant, creating planting schemes that are tailored to each company. They deliver a full and expert service, comprising design, supply, installation and maintenance on a contract or one-off basis. The planting schemes, both interior and exterior, can be designed on any scale – from single-stem orchids to vast atrium displays, to elegant and extravagant Christmas planting.
‘In an ideal world, we would be involved in larger projects from the earliest planning stage possible’ says Ian Drummond, Creative Director of IGD, who celebrates 25 years with the company this year. ‘This is because we can then create planting schemes which feel like an integral part of the building, which can be so exciting.’
‘If we are consulted at a later stage of construction, or if we are working with an established and revered institution such as The Connaught, we spend much time sourcing and often commissioning the perfect containers and planters for the environment, and we work with a wide variety of mediums such as natural materials, ceramics, metals or fibreglass.’
‘This attention to detail is at the heart of our award-winning business – our approach is design-led and we ensure that the planting scheme we create works for our clients and is maintained to the highest of standards through regular, scheduled visits by our uniformed staff.’
Plants Work – for you, your workplace and every space
There is a science behind our love of plants – they work on a deeply psychological level – biophilia is the concept that humans have an innate connection with nature. So by incorporating natural elements into the human environment brings significant benefits, namely improvements in wellbeing, health and productivity.
Plants work on our physical health by producing oxygen while filtering pollution and absorbing dust to clean the air we breathe. They improve our environment by providing shade and maintaining temperatures, which in turn improves the efficiency of buildings.
In 2013 IGD collaborated with Exeter University in an experiment at RHS Chelsea Flower Show to show that office plants can assist in boosting staff wellbeing. Visitors to the show were challenged to take part in the study which measured their creativity, happiness and productivity as they experienced a range of different work space designs. The results showed that allowing staff to make design decisions in a work space enhanced with office plants can increase wellbeing by 47%, creativity by 45% and productivity by 38%. These findings would be expected to translate to a significant increase in business profitability and confront the very tired belief that plants and art are an unnecessary element of the business environment.
Plants are now regarded as so much more than decorative embellishments. They have been proven time and time again to reduce stress, improve morale and significantly contribute to a happy, healthy working environment.
‘At Home with Plants’, by Ian Drummond and Kara O’Reilly is published by Mitchell Beazley in April