University Housing Blog

Hannah's green thumb: How one Taft-Van Doren resident turned her room into a lush indoor garden


A blog post written by Shannon Fricke, University Housing marketing student staff writer

One of the most exciting things about living on-campus is the ability to decorate your room in a way that makes it your own. Most students take pride in personalizing their space by pinning up their favorite band posters, hanging up twinkling lights, or plastering pictures of their favorite memories all over the walls. However, there are some residents who take it to the next level! Hannah Shelan, resident of Taft-Van Doren, has a strong passion for plants. You won’t find posters or lights in her room, but instead you’ll find a lush indoor garden with between 40-60 plants! 
With the goal of completing an Animal Science major with a minor in Horticulture, Hannah loves learning the ins and outs of plants and gardening. When she worked at the Farmer's Market for an art studio, she first realized the joy plants bring to her life. “There was a flower booth that always gave their excess flowers away at the end of the day. I would always come home with these giant, beautiful flowers, and it just made my week. That kind of kick-started my interest in plants.” Her mom runs an Etsy shop, which sparked the idea to sell her unique plants on the University of Illinois Class of 2021 Facebook page. 
Hannah gives credit to the Horticulture Club on campus and a sustainable home gardening course she took last semester, as well as the wealth of information she was able to Google, for providing her the skills needed to maintain the life of her plants when living in the residence hall. Not only have students expressed an interest in Hannah’s plants, but so has the Urbana-Champaign community. After listing her products on multiple garage sale sites, she received good feedback and continues to brighten other people’s day with her plants. “The best part of it all is that I don’t make a lot of money off of it, and the money I do make goes right back into buying more plants because I enjoy it and it makes me really happy sharing them.” 
When Hannah isn’t planting or cleaning dirt off her room floor, she spends her free time hanging with Horticulture Club. She will be attending the 63rd Annual Mom’s Weekend Flower & Garden Show hosted by the Horticulture Club on April 14 from 9-6 p.m. at the U of I Stock Pavilion. Enjoy a special flower-filled fun event where you can see their talented garden heads’ take on famous works of art, and buy flowers and plants that can help turn your room into a beautiful garden!