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Your ideal colleague is… an office plant?

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There’s nothing like stepping outside after a long day in the office.

Especially if you’ve been counting down the minutes until you can escape the mounting documents, which seem to have fossilised on your desk.

Whatever the reason behind your restlessness, office plants pump much-needed oxygen into your workspace, and can help fight the Monday blues.

Office Plants Boston Fern Peace Lily Indoor

A variety of indoor plants for your office space*

Although this seems like a lot of responsibility to give a humble plant, research backs me up.

If we’re being honest, many of us spend too much time indoors, where the air can be stale and heavy, because of toxins found in paint, building materials and furniture.

We already know that plants recycle the air, by absorbing carbon dioxide and pumping out oxygen. But did you know they can also purify it, by removing chemicals? The fancy word for this process is “phytoremediation”.

Scientists from NASA discovered that indoor plants can reduce toxins in confined spaces. In one experiment, houseplants removed nearly 90 percent of air toxins over 24 hours. Although their research dates back to the eighties, it’s as relevant today as it was then. Their findings show that peace lilies, ivy, ferns and palms are some of the best plants for the job.

This is great news for the workaholics and vampires among us, who rarely venture outside.

And it gets better… indoor plants, the Mozart of the natural world, also boost creativity and focus. A study at the University of Technology found that office plants reduced carbon dioxide levels by 10 to 25 per cent, which improved concentration.

Then there are the pot plants with flowers (more than just a pretty face, thank you very much). An eight-month study in Texas shows that potted flowers add a touch of inspiration to the workplace, and help people think outside the square. There was a measurable boost of fresh ideas, creative performance and problem solving during this period.

There’s something to be said about bringing small reminders of the outside world into your work space. At their best, office plants are vibrant, refreshing and purifying. But if your motivations are less noble, that’s ok too. Your desk plant can moonlight as a living, breathing (preferably prickly) barrier between you and that one grouchy colleague, at the very least.

Some tips for caring for your indoor plant:

The good news is that office plants demand less attention than a pet fish.

When it comes to watering, don’t get carried away, or you may end up with a mess on your hands. For minimal fuss, a good option is Mother in law’s tongue (one of the best plants for improving air quality), which only needs watering once a month.

As a general rule, indirect light is best and you should keep office plants away from drafts, open windows and air-conditioning vents.

Remember, no two varieties are the same. At Natures Colours, our plants come with specific instructions, which are easy to follow. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of your new comrade, without doing much at all.

Too bad the same can’t be said about your tax return, right? If only there was a plant that could take care of that.

Natures Colours has a wide range of indoor plants (with or without decorative pots) suitable for office. Shop for more Office Plants or contact us for more information.

Mother In Law Tongue Black Ball Planter

“Mother in Law’s Tongue”
in Black or White Ball Planter
200mm
Buy Now

Peace Lily White Ceramic

Spathiphyllum Peace Lily
in white ceramic pot
140mm
Buy Now

Boston Fern

Nephrolepis Exaltata
Boston Fern in Hanger
200mm
Buy Now

Zanzibar Gem terrazo White

Zanzibar Gem
in Black or White Terrazzo Pot
200mm
Buy Now

* Image by iStock

Wake up and smell the coffee

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Coffee is not just good for your taste-buds, there are certain plants which benefit from the stimulant too, but not because of the buzz it gives.
 
Acting as a mild fertiliser, a scattering of coffee every now and then can serve your plants well (just don’t over-do it).
 
The nitrogen, potassium and magnesium found in the beans help the plant produce healthy, green foliage. There are people who swear by its ability to repel pests too.
 
Next time you sit back and enjoy a cuppa, consider the many ways you can use coffee by-products to nourish your garden, while also reducing waste.
 
 
Here are some ideas:
  •           Sprinkle used grounds around plants before watering, and the nitrogen will slowly release.
  •           Add coffee grounds to compost piles, to increase nitrogen levels.
  •           Dilute the coffee with water, to use as a fertilizer.

But don’t get carried away! It turns out that plants can over-dose on caffeine too. If using diluted coffee as a fertiliser, once a week or so is a good guide to follow.
 
Be discerning about the type of plants you feed coffee to as well, since it lowers the ph level of soil. This means that plants which thrive in an acidic environment do best with this method. Roses, in particular, go crazy for used coffee grounds, which can be sprinkled on the soil every few months, and pressed in lightly.
 
And if you’re not a coffee addict yourself, with no used-grounds to spare, don’t despair. You can always seek out your local Starbucks – the franchise is usually happy to give away used coffee beans, for this purpose.

SPRING SALE

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Spring is hands down our favourite season of the year. 

Neither too hot nor too cold, it brings the best of both worlds and a sense of anticipation for days filled with sand, BBQs and lazing around in the shade soaking in the vibrant colours.

Gardens show off their best work in Spring, with some of the most fragrant and eye-pleasing flowers bursting into bloom, as plants thrive in the (mostly) mild conditions. 
 

We wish Spring could stick around a bit longer, but as the days heat up and Summer draws closer, we hope you enjoy the rest of the season – by making the most of our 30 to 50 per cent sale.

Check out our website or drop in to the Nature’s Colours store, where our staff can walk you through the best deals and provide advice. 

Melissa  

Image by Sean Chin at flicker.com

National Tree Day

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If you’ve ever wrapped your arms around a tree as far as they stretch (and then some), you’re already ahead of the game – having tapped into the magic of trees. 

But if this idea makes you scoff in horror at the dreaminess of it all, please rest assured, you don’t have to morph into a hippie to benefit from nature.


It turns out that simply being around trees can reduce stress. What’s more, a recent study by Planet Ark has found that planting boosts the academic performance and wellbeing of children.

International expert, Dr Mardie Townsend from Deakin University, supports these findings, having researched the health benefits of interacting with nature. “Just 30 minutes of green time daily can level the playing field for children who aren’t naturally good at book learning by having a positive impact on their higher order cognitive skills,” Dr Townsend says. 


“Doing nature-based activities can boost self-esteem for kids who struggle to learn the traditional way and natural settings can help restore kids’ ability to concentrate and reduce stress by providing a soothing atmosphere,” she says. 


The benefits don’t end there, with tree planting playing a major role in the filtering of oxygen and provision of food and shelter for humans and animals. Planting seedlings with a purpose can also lead to the restoration of deforested areas, according to the United Nations Environmental Program. 


Tomorrow marks the 17th year that National Tree Day has been celebrated, leading to the planting of over 17 million native trees and shrubs since the day was first organised by Planet Ark. A number of events will be held across the nation this year, to help Australians understand how tree planting can benefit wildlife, soil salinity, long-term carbon offsetting and human health. 


This is a good reason to get out there and plant, an activity which can take place any day of the year, in the company of other Green Thumbs, or in the privacy of your own garden.


But before you pull out your shovel and put those arm muscles to good use, it’s important to note that planting local natives is best, because they’re most likely to thrive, providing a suitable home for wildlife in the area. 


If planting trees is new to you, breathe easy, Planet Ark has this useful guide.

And should you wish to bring yourself one step closer to actually hugging trees, find out what more you can do by clicking here.

Melissa 

Money DOES Grow on Trees

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A wise person once said that money doesn’t grow on trees. Well, not literally, otherwise environmentalists wouldn’t be the only people fighting so hard to save them all! This shouldn’t discount the value that plants and trees have as an investment item for your property or business.

From bamboo, flowers, ginseng, ground covers, herbs to landscaping trees and shrubs, a small price is paid to obtain these seemingly small items but it won’t take long for it to grow in to something grand and impressive. Nurturing your plants and trees will increase the value of your property by thousands of dollars. Most people underestimate the importance of plants and trees, despite the proven profit that can be gained by investing in them and caring for them properly.

A typical example would be if you purchased an average $10 plant in a 200mm pot, after 10 years this plant would be worth over $200! * The profit (1000%) seen over a period of 10 years exceeds even the stock market for gains. Not to mention the added value to your home by an improved landscape. Multiply this figure over a large quantity of plants (required for most gardens) and you have a gold mine waiting to grow!

Natures Colours can get you started by introducing you to some of our best products in store. For more advice, give us a call or send us an email.

So what are you waiting for? Secure your future interests and plant a feature tree today!


* This figure is based on optimal growing conditions and when grown in the ground. If the plant is left in the same sized pot it will restrict growth. Also regular fertilising helps keep the plant growing strong and healthy!

did someone say hanging roof plants and bamboo flooring?

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Nature’s Colours is loving the Eco section of Trendspotting, an innovative online magazine.

Check out these two articles which show how indoor plants and nature in general can be used to brighten up any home, resulting in long lasting, aesthetically pleasing designs that everyone can enjoy.

Read all about bamboo flooring here.

Hanging roof plants? Yes please!

Want more? Check out our very own indoor plants page.

Also don’t forget to read Melissa’s take on all things bamboo!

Stay tuned for more cool trends and tips!

Your Nature’s Colours Team

Nature’s Colours Guide to Buying Indoor Plants

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Fun fact: Did you know that the effect of indoor plants has been investigated by NASA for use in spacecrafts? Here’s why…

Thinking of adding indoor plants to your home? One of the best reasons for investing in indoor plants is that they naturally purify the air from toxins that develop in most homes. Buying indoor plants in the workplace is a wise move as plants can also remove carbon dioxide (CO2), which can lead to reduced work performance.

You could call indoor plants: Nature’s own Air Conditioner!

Where to buy Indoor Plants?

The best way to buy indoor plants is from the experts. Buying indoor plants online is the new and innovative option as you are free to roam through the many descriptions of our plants at your own leisurely pace. You can also discuss with our experts for advice on how to keep your plants healthy and how to assess if your home is suitable for certain kinds of plants.

Not only does Nature’s Colours have experts keen and ready to help but we also have a wide catalogue of indoor plants available here.

Indoor plants can be arranged for most work place environments from us lovely green folk– a worthy investment for your home or company!

Is your home Indoor Plant friendly?

It’s important to make sure your home has the right conditions for indoor plants to thrive. It’s essential to first consider the light conditions in your home and also to check if the plants are safe for children. Our trained experts at Nature’s Colours can help you figure this out and much more.

Here at Nature’s Colours we love dreaming up innovative ideas to help fellow gardeners realise the perfect garden, whether it’s indoor planting or outdoor gardens, Nature’s Colours is here to help. Drop us a line and we’d be happy to discuss with you the many different house plants on offer.

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Bamboozled by Bamboo?

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This versatile plant is almost too good to be true. Its proclaimed uses range from building homes and recycling air to feeding millions of people, while also supporting spiritual needs. Like the Wonder Woman of nature, it seems there is little that Bamboo can’t do. It’s easy to be sceptical, but many of the praises sung are both good and true.

For centuries, Eastern cultures around the world have enjoyed the benefits of bamboo and it’s not hard to appreciate why. This mystical plant carries a sense of strength and flexibility, continuing to play a role in ceremonies, music, art and daily life. Now the rest of the world is tuning in, with bamboo bringing its unique energy to homes and gardens and proving there is more to it than meets the eye.

Not only does its rustic aroma and wooden face soothe the senses, but Mother Nature approves too. Research shows that bamboo has a lot to offer the environment. There are over 1200 species of this ancient grass, found mostly in Asia, Africa and America. Without getting lost in the family tree, bamboo is popular for its rapid growth, toughness and generous production of biomass. This means it could be used as a renewable energy source, and a useful one at that.

Bamboo produces around 35 percent more oxygen than wood. This makes it the ideal “carbon sink”, according to the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR). Their research reveals that carefully managed bamboo forests recycle more carbon than fast growing trees like Eycalyptus.

In other words, bamboo carries serious potential to help counter effects of environmental damage and shouldn’t be dismissed as just a pretty face. Of course, more research is needed. Having recently taken part in the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, INBAR and similar organisations are at the forefront of this. We hold our breaths waiting to see where their discoveries lead.

When you consider all the above, it’s little wonder that bamboo has been nicknamed “the miracle plant”. Luckily, you don’t have to be an ecological scientist or a panda to enjoy the benefits. At the very least, bamboo promotes a sense of balance in many aspects of life and should not be taken for granted.

But don’t take our word for it. For more info, visit the International Network for Bamboo  and see what the fuss is all about.

Melissa 

Nature’s Colours

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Welcome to an Explosion of Natural Colour…….

Can we entice you to colour your world and your garden with Nature’s Colours plants? We can offer you more options and an array of natural beauty because we are brimming with fresh plants of all varieties, colours and sizes.

So If you are looking to buy roses for that special someone, shrubs to decorate your garden, potted colour for decorating your windowsills or even looking to grow your own herbs – in fact anything your imagination can conjure up – then you have stumbled on the right place because here at Nature’s Colours, if there’s one thing we’re passionate about, it’s nature and everything it has to offer.

We swear by nature. In fact we’ll let you in on a little secret. We watch Pocahontas and struggle not to shed a tear when she sings about the colours of the wind. We saw Avatar and furiously scribbled down notes on the potential plants of the future. We know what it means to touch a tree and feel its pain, just like Zac and Crystal did in Ferngully: the Last Rainforest. If these references don’t mean anything to you, that’s okay, we can’t expect everyone to be nature fanatics like us. We’re just making sure you know that nature is our passion. The more colour, the more beauty – the more enthusiastic you’ll find us.

And in a world where nature is constantly threatened with Global Warming and Climate Change, we believe a love of nature is more important than ever. We reject the notion that this is not an environment issue. Yes it’s a global issue that concerns all aspects of life from the economy to social change. But ultimately the environment and nature has always been at the forefront of the debate and something at risk of extinction.

So we’re here to say we care and that’s it’s cool to care about the natural world around us.
So what are you waiting for? Welcome to Nature’s…..Colours!!!
A rainbow oasis at the click of a mouse…