My home and gym are green spaces, for the well-documented mental health benefits

I’m a total amateur, reaching for google at the point when things go wrong. As with most things that don’t follow a straight path, I’ve picked up lessons.

Seedlings, microgreens and ferns love to be humid. Fungus gnats also love that moisture. Their eggs can be destroyed by pouring a solution of 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide and 4 parts water through soil. A fizzy chemical reaction occurs, harmlessly releasing oxygen. The adults can be caught on sticky fly traps. Cinnamon is anti-fungal so can also be sprinkled on soil to reduce gnat food.

Clay LECA balls are a growing medium that offers no nourishment to gnats, but keeps plants hydrated (they may need extra feed in their water to compensate for lack of soil).

Ferns are needy

I’ve lost three maidenhair ferns, and almost sworn them off, but one’s making a dramatic comeback right now. Baby shoots just started to appear from its crispy spindly base. I’m not a big believer in spontaneity, but it’s a visual testament to hope and unpredictability.

My gym is unheated when not in use. I learned the hard way, with a few casualties, that plants die in locked winter gyms. But you can put almost any stumpy bit of surviving greenery into water and it will sprout roots.

I turn my plants, as they reach for the sun. A flower from a quiet succulent is a real source of surprise.