Did you know that regular exposure to nature can greatly benefit your physical and mental health? Nature has been linked to improved attention spans, lower stress levels, better mood, improvement to empathy levels and even reduced risk of psychiatric disorders. While taking time out for a mountain hike or swimming in the ocean may not be feasible for many of us, there is one thing you can do to up your daily dose of nature in the comfort of your own home — grow plants in your strata property. Not only will this benefit your health, but it will also help you do your bit for the environment. It may even become a long-term hobby that reaps rewards of the flowering or edible variety.
While some may assume gardening in strata properties is limited, this isn’t the case. With a bit of creativity, you and your strata property neighbours can introduce eye-catching greenery to private and shared strata spaces.
Keep reading to learn about some easy ways to do this in community living settings.
It’s time to say hello to a more sustainable collection hobby. That’s right, not only are indoor plants pretty to look at, many of them are great for the environment and your health too.
When choosing indoor plants for your strata property, it’s important first to consider natural light levels and how much time you’re able to dedicate to maintenance. The good news is, many indoor plants are pretty low maintenance in nature. Also, many of them don’t need full sunlight all day long.
The following low-maintenance indoor plant will likely only require a little TLC to thrive in your strata property:
Many of these plants also have air-purifying qualities as a bonus. If you aren’t very comfortable with watering schedules, there’s no need to panic. Plenty of handy plant care apps such as Plantin can help you with this and send you reminders when you need to feed your new green friends. Paired with a pretty pot, some well-chosen plants may go a long way in transforming your home.
Best of all, there are rarely any by-laws or building rules that forbid indoor plants in private property, so you may be able to add greenery to your home without obtaining any approvals.
Indoor plants are also great for sprucing up common property areas like hallways and lobbies. While the plants listed previously are ideal for these areas, there is a catch. Individual owners cannot make changes to common property areas. This includes adding an indoor plant or two to hallways or lobbies. If you feel your common property areas could do with some indoor plants, it’s best to bring this up at your next committee meeting, general meeting or annual general meeting so that it can be put to a vote.
Does your unit or lot have a private balcony or courtyard? If so, you may be able to grow a little veggie or flower garden in these spaces, provided they receive plenty of natural light.
Before finalising your balcony or courtyard veggie or floral garden, it’s important to consult your bylaws or building rules to ensure this is permitted on your property. Also, most strata properties do not allow owners or residents to make alterations that affect the property’s outside appearance. It’s important to make sure your greenery plans do not break your property’s rules around this matter.
Did you know that many vegetables can be grown from food scraps? This is an excellent way to reduce wastage, improve your home’s sustainability, save some hard-earned money and have a fresh supply of healthy vegetables at your fingertips all year round too.
Some veggies that can be grown from food scraps include:
Alternatively, you can visit your local Bunnings Warehouse or nursery for seasonal veggie seeds, seedlings and plants for your new strata property veggie garden.
If you prefer pretty flower gardens, you could invest in some flowering plants that produce beautiful blooms that can be cut and arranged around your home. Courtyard and balcony-friendly flowing plants include:
3. Start a kitchen herb garden
This way of integrating plants into your strata property may be handy for those who love cooking fresh, delicious meals at home. While fresh herbs are generally easily accessible at local supermarkets, they are often sold in large quantities. This may lead to wastage, especially if a recipe only calls for a small pinch of fresh herbs.
If your strata property’s kitchen has a window that receives plenty of light, starting a small window herb garden may be a good option. Not only will this add a little colour and life to your kitchen, but you’ll also have access to the herbs of your choice when ever you want.
Herbs that may thrive in a strata property kitchen window setting include:
If there are any other herbs you use regularly, it may be worth trying to grow them too.
Do your strata property’s grounds have an unused area big enough for a vegetable patch? Or perhaps a rooftop terrace that can be converted into a garden? If so, you and your green-thumbed neighbours may be able to use the area to add more plants to your strata property— in the form of a communal garden.
A communal garden will increase the number of plants in your strata property and also improve its sustainability. It may also create the perfect opportunity to bond with your strata community.
Don’t forget, your owners corporation will need to vote on major changes planned for common property areas before they can go ahead. This includes commonly owned grounds as well. Make sure you and your strata property neighbours seek approval before commencing your community garden. It may also be wise to have a bylaw or building rule that covers the use and maintenance of your new community garden. If you need help with this, we recommend getting in touch with a strata bylaw or building rule specialist like Kemps Peterson Legal.
Adding plants to your strata property is a great way to improve its look and feel while getting more in touch with nature. You’ll also be improving your property’s sustainability and doing your bit for the environment too. So, put on your gardening gloves and let’s get cracking — it’s time to plant some greenery.
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