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Wellbeing With Plants: Ryan Hanrahan

Please tell us a little bit about yourself...

My name is Ryan Hanrahan and I own and creative direct Addition Studio. We launched in 2010 and have been creating furniture, lighting and objects since then. Many of our designs are based on the act of ritual.



What do you love most about indoor plants?
 
I love it when they are big. I am constantly obsessed with finding, and growing the largest plants possible that I can take in doors.



How do indoor plants enhance your wellbeing?
 
I mean visually they look amazing. I think a minimal amount of objects in a space and then combined with a few key plants is all you need. Keeping a minimal, simple and green visual landscape enhances wellness, however the benefit I find in a deeper sense is the daily contact of caring for and looking at a plant in detail.



In what other ways do plants nurture you?

We had a veggie garden at our house last year, which I loved. Living up in Byron Bay now, its so easy to grow food. We had every ingredient you could want for salads, and it had a really close proximity to our kitchen, so every night I would pick a heap of greens to go with our meal. It was so easy and so healthy, and would re grow by the next night. Since we moved to our new place I haven’t had this and I have really missed it, though we just bought our first house, and that's the first thing on my list of things to do.



What's your favourite plant?


My favourite plant at the moment is the Umbrella Tree (Schefflera actinophylla). They’re native to Australia and fairly common outside. I don’t love them that much outside, however when inside and placed in a well lit place with a high light for them to climb towards, they are super cool.

 

What do you find most difficult about plant care?

I hate the trays that are meant to go under plants. They’re always missing, and when you do buy them, they are expensive, or don’t match your pot, and if you don’t have them, then water goes on your floor. Yep I find them so annoying, however I have come up with a bit of a solution slash life hack. I buy the cheap plastic trays and sit them inside the pot at the base, before potting the plant, so they are not visible. I then add the dirt and the plant and then voila the plant has an invisible tray. I know this doesn’t give the soil the perfect drainage or aeration, nor does it perfectly catch all the overflow if you over water, but it does do all the afore mentioned to a pretty good degree. My plants are happy with it, and my OCD brain likes not having to deal with trays and water spillage. win/win



Has taking care of plants taught you anything insightful?

When you water a plant, and care for it, you tend to really become appreciative of it when it grows. You notice things in detail, like when a new shoot flourishes or when it flowers, and this makes you happy. I believe that just the daily act of seeing this gives a broader appreciation for nature and the world we live in.



What's another wellbeing practice you swear by?

Transcendental Meditation. I have been meditating for almost 10 years now, and it is the single main practice I do twice a day to keep my coffee and work habits in check. Besides that having a dog to love and look after. Animals are so good for your wellbeing ;-)


Photos by Katrina Parker