8 Things IKEA Can Teach You About Gardening

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the home furnishing brand developed The IKEA Virtual Greenhouse—a series of masterclasses about botany and sustainable living.

Life at Home Has Changed

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IKEA Store

For the past seven years, IKEA has conducted an annual study on how people experience their homes, publishing the results in their annual Life at Home Report. Their data for 2020 was unsurprisingly a little different, considering how much more time people spent at home due to the pandemic. One of their findings was that people were craving a connection with nature, which is why they developed the IKEA Virtual Greenhouse, a series of classes, lectures and interactive experiences that focus on sustainability and bringing nature into our homes. Here are some of the most interesting things these workshops can teach you about home gardening.

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How to Create a Living Library of Seeds

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How to Create a Living Library of Seeds

Shubhi Sachan, who runs the Material Library of India (MLOI) teaches this class on the benefits of preserving a diverse selection of seeds and how you can do it yourself at home. She goes through the process of locating, drying, and storing seeds, and explains to viewers how they can then be used to grow your own food at home.

Related: How to Grow Edible Plants Indoors—Starting from Seeds!

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How to Make a Kokedama

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Moss

A kokedama, also referred to cheekily as the “poor man's bonsai” is a ball of soil coated in moss that grows decorative houseplants. Kim of Amsterdam-based design studio We Smell the Rain walks viewers through the steps to create their own at home. The process itself is calming and meditative, and the end result makes for a unique botanical installation.

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How to Forage

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Basket filled with berries

Chef Danny of London’s experimental culinary studio Bompas & Parr teaches viewers how to forage in their local green spaces. In this video, he heads to a nearby park to look for edible berries, wildflowers, and plants, teaching viewers what type of flora to look for. He then heads back to his kitchen to make “park juice” from the ingredients he gathered.

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How to Use “Root Chutes”

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Ball of clay

Many indoor gardeners are used to propagating plants by placing cuttings in water to root, but in this video Rose and Caro of biophilic design studio RoCo explain how to make “root chutes”—waterproof clay supports—to help your plants grow in the right direction. This is an easy DIY project that anyone can undertake at home with a few simple supplies.

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How to Make a Mini Home Terrarium

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Mini Home Terrariums

Alyson Mowat leads this masterclass on making a small home terrarium. She guides viewers through the steps of designing a tiny biosphere in the comfort of your home. Her video details the planning process, what tools you’ll need for the project, and how to plant and care for the botanicals inside.

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How to Grow Bee-Friendly Plants

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Bee on a flower

In this workshop, the team from Honey Fingers explains the different types of pollinating bees as well as the plants that best nourish and sustain them. They discuss how rosemary, sunflowers, tomatoes, and other herbs and vegetables benefit bees. They explain how these plants can be grown on your own balcony or in your backyard to keep the bee population in your area healthy and thriving. 

Related: 10 Flowers That Attract Bees to Your Garden

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How to Care for Houseplants

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Mom taking care of a plant with kids on a balcony

Emma Sadie Thomson is an Australian plant stylist who runs this short workshop on the basics of caring for houseplants. She goes over some great info for beginners, offering tips and tricks for planting, watering, repotting, and propagating a variety of different styles of plants. This is a great introductory video for those who are new to indoor gardening.

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How to Build Your Own Farm at Home

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Overhead shot of people gardening at home

You don’t need multiple acres of land—or even a backyard—to start your own farm. Paulina Grabowski, a designer from the Polish studio NAS-DRA, outlines how even those living in small spaces can grow edible greens in this workshop. She goes over the basics of cultivating a microgarden and touches on how an aeroponic farm can be a great choice for apartment-dwellers. 

Related: 10 Tiny Gardens You Can Grow on Your Windowsill

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