Breath of fresh air; Gardening.
Byline: with David Domoney
DID you know indoor plants have also been scientifically proven to purify our air?
The US space agency NASA conducted research into how plants remove toxins and pollution as long as two decades ago. And what their scientists found then remains just as important and practical now.
They were looking at ways to purify the air in orbiting space stations, remove carbon dioxide and create oxygen. The NASA Clean Air Study found that having a single purifying plant in a room could reduce by pollutant levels by an 87% in just 24 hours.
Three major types of pollution - benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene - can be as likely to turn up in your home as in a spacecraft.
So NASA came up with a list of the best plants for purifying air - and they all make great houseplants. But that's not all indoor plants are good for - especially now winter's at the door.
You can use plants creatively within your home to make a design statement. And warmer indoor temperatures mean you can choose exotic plants - too tender for British gardens. They're also a great way to garden when the weather's rough - or if you live in an flat or rented home with no outdoors.
Foliage and leafy plants are lowmaintenance and come in a huge range of sizes, textures and styles.
Use ivy trailing down from high shelves to create movement and bold ferns in large pots on the floor in corners. I love the Boston fern, also known as the bird's nest fern. It has upright, glossy leaves that look so chic in any home style.
Cacti are neat and textured plants for desks and windowsills, while large spiky and strap-leaved plants will make a striking statement in any room.
Try sansevieria, also called the snake plant or motherin-law's tongue. It is hardy and drought-resistant if you're away a lot.
If you've got a dark shady corner choose one with dark green leaves. This means it has high levels of chlorophyll so it won't need as much light to survive Top pots shelves and the Boston bird's glossy in for home Here are NASA's top 10 plants to purify the air. And they all make great houseplants.
1 Peace Lily 2 Chrysanthemum morifolium 3 English Ivy 4 Red-Edged Dracaena 5 Variegated Sansevieria 6 Cornstalk Dracaena 7 Gerbera jamesonii 8 Broadleaf Lady Palm 9 Lilyturf (Liriope spicata) 10 Devil's Ivy (Pothos) has
BIRDS NEST: Boston fern