This is further confirmed by green-themed television programmes, which are netting huge audiences, such as the UK’s The Big Flower Fight (Netflix), a sort of Masterchef for florists, and online independent retailers - Lezio, Bakker, Flobflower in Italy, The Sill, Bloomscape and Bergamotte in Europe – which are steadily taking on the sectoral giants. Then there are burgeoning, diverse applications such as Planta, Florish, Gardenia and Vera, which offer advice and instructions on how to look after each and every sprout, as well as cutting edge services such as smart diagnoses on their state of health, watering reminders and expert consultations. Furthermore, on Google and Pinterest, research into indoor micro-vegetables, aromatic herbs, and edible flowers, as well as pot plants, saw a 223% spike in 2020 compared with the previous year.
So, given that gardening, even in micro form, born of the passion for and culture of biophilia that’s at its height right now, is becoming a way of life, design has taken this on board and launched new projects accordingly. Starting with the proper equipment - Giulio Iacchetti designed the Orte gardening set for Internoitaliano – a painted metal hoe, six-pronged rake, and a shovel – with a wooden base onto which the implements can be affixed once finished with, and the Idro watering can, a “green” object in every sense – purpose, manufacture and shape. Made entirely by hand, the flared upper part is useful for collecting rainwater. Otherwise, Diva by Alessi designed by Eero Aarnio is a functional and ironic watering can made of thermoplastic with a comma shape that gives it a sense of movement even when not in use. The importance of choosing the right tool for uprooting, cutting, collecting and grafting cannot be overstated, and Opinel has come up with the perfect collection of gardening knives, secateurs, pruning knives, and small saws.
There are thousands of potential containers, large or small, original or not, to choose from. For those with large terraces, Romeo and Juliet from Extremis is a winner: a biophilic seat that encapsulates and brings nature along with it. Made of long wooden slats, it seems to float between two plants in a romantic marriage of nature and function. Patricia Urquiola’s Cassero collection for Serralunga is inspired by the concrete moulds used in the construction industry and is designed to bring plant life indoors. A domestic descendent of the Vertical Forest? The Albero flowerpot stand by Achille Castiglioni for Zanotta fits the bill, with its subtle presence, dynamic composition and flexible design – an unusual structure that carefully accommodates the plants on round plates placed at regular intervals along its height, while horizontally every element is able to rotate by 120 degrees, so as to better organise the arrangement of plants of differing sizes. Unexpected domestic oases can be created with the Cigales planters by Paolo Cappello for Miniforms -freestanding, wall-mounted and/or with mirrors – conceived for a positive lifestyle that sets up a relationship with people’s psycho-physical equilibrium. Meanwhile, Window Garden Pendant is a stylish intelligent hydroponic irrigation system incorporated into porcelain vases by BIG for Danese.