Plants Add Life to Drab Office Cubicles

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By Virginia A. Smith, The Philadelphia Inquirer

We spend what, eight, ten hours a day in our grim-gray cubicles at work?  They’re all alike, with their faded fabric dividers affording no privacy and dirt-brown carpets darkened with hints of soup and soda.  But here’s a practical road to workplace relief: the cubby garden.

“You look around and see a garden flowering.  It lifts your spirits,” said Marilyn E. Reynolds, an office-plant buff whose cubby at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is filled with green.  She knows, from experience, that office landscaping – “interiorscaping” in industry parlance – can be liberating for the soul and, as a growing body of research suggests, healthier for mind and body.  This leads to something else, sure to warm the boss’s heart:  cubby gardening may even boost productivity and lower absenteeism.

Ken O’Brien, vice president/branch manager at the Souderton, Pa., regional office of Initial Tropical Plants, which installs and maintains office plants, said his three decades in the business have taught him a few things about cubicle gardening:  Plants soften spaces and bring welcome color and personality to the office, especially when they’re placed in decorative containers .  O’Brien likes the pointed foliage of Rex begonia, which comes in rich mixes of burgundy, reds and pinks with swirling, starry leaves.  Croton is another eye-catcher, with its crunchy leaves of yellow, pink, red and orange.  Aglaonema has shiny, oval leaves in fleshy, riotous shades of green.

Such an inventory illustrates a few things: Office plants are no longer monochromatic. Foliage can be fabulous. And there’s a lot more variety out there.  Just like their outdoor cousins, O’Brien said, indoor gardeners “want vibrant now. They want lush. They’re paying a lot more attention to what the plants look like.”  Reynolds and her Philadelphia co-workers fuss over their cubby gardens, which include the time-tested, spiky mother-in-law’s tongue, surely one of the worst-named plants ever but a reliable and curious addition to a desktop.

For more  information on plants and containers that will compliment your office space, or to inquire about  a free consultation for plants and planters  in your facility just email us at info@interiorofficeplants.com.

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