Cultivating an Indoor Landscape

Nancy Carroll has always had an affinity for everything green.
“When my girlfriends were playing Barbie dolls, I had pumpkins,” the Naperville resident said. “And my dad taught me how to grow a pumpkin and it’d get bigger and bigger and it was just for a kid like, ‘Oh my gosh, look at this.’”

The former art and English teacher is a master gardener, and lectures on gardening and landscaping throughout the state. So when the weather turns frigid, Carroll packs up the plants from her outdoor garden and her house becomes an indoor landscape.

“There’s a lot of things you can do inside. I pot up my herbs and bring a lot of them inside. And my children are grown, so I kind of take over their bedrooms and I set up the card tables.”

While potting up and moving some of your plants can seem like a lot of work, Carroll notes all gardens, even those of the indoor variety, start small. She recommends starting with something easier to grow, like an amaryllis bulb, African Violet or an orchid.

“Have fun with it,” Carroll said. “Don’t over-water it, that’s what most people do. And you’ll be so proud of yourself, you’ll go ‘Oh my gosh I can grow something. Now I can try something else.'”
Carroll says she’s seen her share of naysayers of indoor gardening, but the key to having a successful indoor garden is finding the right fit.

“People will say, ‘Well I don’t have any sunny windows, I have an apartment, or I have a nursing home window or I have an office light,’ Carrol said. “Well all things can grow somewhere. It’s the right plant for the right place, the right place for the right plant.”

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