No space? No problem: How to build your own indoor garden

Kayleigh Garry is celebrating 1 year in business at her shop A New Leaf.

Kayleigh Garry celebrated a year of A New Leaf on April 12 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

With spring now well and truly sprung, a plant shop on the outskirts of Norwich is sharing top tips for those wanting to bring some greenery indoors.

Kayleigh Garry, 34, set up A New Leaf in the grounds of Thorpe Plant Centre, run by her father Paul Oxborrow, in April 2021.

And after experiencing every season with her new Thorpe St Andrew business, Kayleigh is giving advice to those eager to get their hands dirty - even if they don't know where to start.

"Something I get asked every day is: 'Can you point me in the direction of really easy plants that I won't kill?'" she joked. "It's quite comical.

"The lowest-maintenance plants tend to be sansevierias but they're also the best air-purifiers.

Kayleigh Garry is celebrating 1 year in business at her shop A New Leaf.

Kayleigh Garry said that sansevieria are one of the lowest-maintenance house plants - Credit: Sonya Duncan

"It's a definite bestseller, especially our twisted sansevieria. They look a bit quirky.

"It's one people pick up and are drawn to without knowing what it is."

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Kayleigh explained that there are studies that say houses should have a minimum of five houseplants in each room. 

She laughed: "It's a good rule to stick by.

Kayleigh Garry is celebrating 1 year in business at her shop A New Leaf.

Kayleigh Garry's one-year-old business A New Leaf is tucked away at Thorpe Plant Centre in Plumstead Road, Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Sonya Duncan

"Some customers have admitted they have around 30 in their living rooms."

More confident houseplant parents with limited space can house slightly more demanding plants, like calathea. 

"You get a lot of variety in the colouring and leaves. They do require a little more TLC.

"Calathea need misting and can be temperamental. They don't like tap water in Norfolk but they enjoy rainwater.

"They like high humidity so are great indoors."

And then you have your monstera - more commonly known as Swiss cheese plants.

Kayleigh Garry is celebrating 1 year in business at her shop A New Leaf.

Kayleigh Garry at A New Leaf, Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Kayleigh said: "They were popular in the 70s and 80s and are really making a comeback. I get them in religiously every week.

"We get them in a manageable size but we also get really big ones."

For those looking for things on a smaller scale, terrariums are a fail-safe, Kayleigh explained.

"They're almost entirely self-sufficient.

"People can pick the glassware and compost as well as the plants and get them all in one place.

"They create their own eco-system within their environment, so it's bets not to open them up once they're sealed shut with the cork," she added.

Kayleigh Garry is celebrating 1 year in business at her shop A New Leaf, pictured with her dog Charl

Kayleigh Garry with dog Charlie at A New Leaf in Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A New Leaf celebrates a year in business

"I had a vision of what to expect from my first year, but it's gone beyond my expectations," Kayleigh, who used to work in nursery education, said.

"I didn't quite go into this blindly. I knew starting at any time was going to be a struggle.

Kayleigh Garry is celebrating 1 year in business at her shop A New Leaf. Pictured with her dad Paul

Kayleigh Garry with her dad Paul Oxborrow, who runs Thorpe Plant Centre - Credit: Sonya Duncan

"I grew up with this industry - learning from my dad - and knew the peaks and troughs but January surprised me as people were still grabbing stock. 

"But when it came to the rising cost of living, I haven't seen dramatic changes. You do notice that people shop a little more carefully and are being a little more cautious.

"People who would've spent thousands on holidays are now spending less but on doing up their garden or home. 

Kayleigh Garry is celebrating 1 year in business at her shop A New Leaf, pictured with her dog Charl

Kayleigh's trusty friend Charlie keeps her company at her store, A New Leaf - Credit: Sonya Duncan

"Even though they're strapped for cash, it's an honour when they spend it here.

"We've build up local support, and a rapport more than you'd get at large chains."