Climbing the walls

Bring the outdoors in with these at-home horticulture systems

Spring blossoms, gorgeous flowers, longer days, and green trees serve as reminders of the renewal surrounding us outdoors—and of the many benefits we can glean from that everyday growth. Thankfully, artists and garden experts are now creating more and more ways to bring elements of the outdoors into our homes, inviting us to stay more consistently in tune with the world around us.

“It feels significant to watch something grow before your eyes, and to have the chance to take care of that thing,” notes Heather Shouse of Bottle & Branch, a full-service, Chicago-based horticulture company.

“I’ve always found that the experience in doing so can add something to your day, and to your life.” Here are three innovative, eye-catching ways to bring the outdoors in this year.


Bottle & Branch: The Hanging Gardens


After working in restaurants and food media for several years, Heather Shouse returned to school for horticulture, desiring to be more connected with nature. Shortly thereafter, she reconnected with friend and Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard on some interiorscaping for Izard’s then-new restaurant Girl & the Goat—a project that quickly catapulted them both to success. Soon enough, Shouse was outfitting some of Chicago’s top restaurants (Boka, El Che Bar, Cabra) with bespoke living walls and installations that helped to bring a lush, vibrant dimension to dining rooms across the city.

Today, she offers those same services to private clients nationwide—including show-stoppers like The Hanging Gardens, a customizable installation of horizontal and vertical rods that uphold a number of potted plants. “

It’s great because as the plants grow, you can move them around depending on which ones are upright and which ones are trailing,”says Shouse, who notes that using colored pots is another way to add variation.

“A lot of people want to design their homes in neutral tones because neutrals are timeless, but that’s when we come into the picture,” she says. “We’re often asked about how to bring life into a space—and what better way to do so than with something actually living.”


Leath: The Fieldhouse Micro Greens System


In the early days of the pandemic, Leath founders Alexine Pack and Alex Colodny spent several months back home in Colorado, where they witnessed Colodny’s mother growing at-home microgreens and incorporating them into meals. “We were blown away by how fast and easy the greens grew,” notes Pack. The two attempted to do the same when they returned to their

Photo: Leath

Brooklyn apartment, but after seeking out durable, thoughtfully designed microgreens systems to no avail, they decided to create their own—The Fieldhouse, a countertop model for growing an array of microgreens (from arugula and pea shoots to broccoli and radish). Each system features built-in, full spectrum LED lights and a 12-hour timer, all of which helps to ensure fast harvesting and enjoyment (and these harvests happen fast—at-home gardeners can expect to yield greens just a week or two after planting).

Though the greens are plenty tasty on their own (and loaded with nutrients), the Leath team has you covered on the culinary front, too, thanks to a virtual client education center brimming with recipe ideas. In addition to benefitting your wellness and wallet, these greens support the world around you, too: seeds are USDA certified organic, non-GMO, and require zero plastic clamshells (unlike most grocery store microgreens), and they never see the downsides of farm-to-store commutes or the food waste occurring there. Beyond all of those bonuses, Pack and Colodny hope to give clients the chance to find some peace in the growth process.

“We wanted to share an enriching experience that helped create some distance from the screen-heavy days we all live,” says Pack.

“One that we hope invites in moments of quiet reflection that traditional gardeners tend to enjoy most.”

This story appears in One Adventures, Berkley One’s digital magazine celebrating creators, experiences and stories. Read our past issue by clicking the links below.

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