We’ve been renovating our house for the last couple of years; needless to say the outside space has been totally neglected: at the front a skip has practically become a permanent fixture/feature and the back garden resembles tumbleweed – just as well I have sympathetic neighbours! I have to say I do get garden envy when I walk past their pristine gardens…one day.
On a brighter note, I’ve been focussing my attention on nurturing my array of eclectic indoor plants and I have to say lately it’s evolved into a hobby. Having indoor plants is wonderful – not only do they, dare I say it: ‘bring the outside-in’, they immediately breathe life and give interest to an interior whether it’s in the home or the office.
Years ago I was given a tiny succulent – a money plant, (that’s not the Latin name) now it’s absolutely huge and I love it. There’s something hugely satisfying about watching something flourish and grow old with you! I always take special care of it because (a) I’ve had it for 10 years and (b) superstitiously, I’m banking on the fact that one day it will bring me good fortune! Succulents are great because they’re easy to look after as they don’t require much water, so you’ll never need to feel guilty if you’ve neglected them and the soil is as dry as a bone.
I have to admit I’m slightly guilty of following the trends with plants…I’ve got one of those contemporary ‘Sky Planters’, so my Boston fern hangs upside-down, suspended from the ceiling – it’s always a talking point when someone new enters our house – it’s like marmite: you either love it or hate it. I also have a “Kokedama” style plant (the art of Kokedama originates from Japan and literally translates as ‘moss-ball’). Basically, the roots of an ornamental plant are embedded in a ball of soil, moss is then wrapped around it and bound with string and yes you guessed it, it dangles from the ceiling too! I also like to grow herbs on my kitchen windowsill, not only does this look aesthetically pleasing – it gives the impression that I’m a good cook. I simply love scattering a handful of fresh basil over pasta or using coriander to garnish a curry – and now that summer’s finally on its way, I even a have a sprig of mint for my Pimm’s!
Worryingly I’ve actually started giving names for my plants and even caught myself talking to them which is rather concerning! Plants have become fashionable which is a good thing because people of all ages are joining in the mania. The most ‘trending’ indoor varieties are; succulents, palms, Boston ferns, fiddle-leaf fig trees, citrus trees and trailing plants which look great cascading from kitchen or book shelves such as Ceropegia Woodii (String of Hearts). The ways of displaying plants is endless: plant stands look great in a hallway; woven baskets look great clustered together; macrame (knotted rope hangers) give a cool relaxed vibe; and terrariums (sealed glass containers containing small plants) have also made a comeback – there’s plenty of workshops where you can learn to create your own. For the ultimate wow factor there’s vertical planting which you may have seen in hotels or art museums where a variety of exotic plants are grown vertically on structures jutting out from the exterior or interior walls – it’s something I’m looking into…
I hope this article has inspired you to venture out to one of the many garden events happening throughout the Weald this summer. Whether it’s a ‘garden safari’ experience (where private village gardens are opened to the general public); a gardening and flower show or market – the choice is endless…even if you’re not of the green fingered variety; believe me once you get going you’ll be potty about plants!
Why not share the love and send/post a photo of your favourite indoor plant, does it have a name? We’d love to meet him/her!
Words by Emma Panetta (and Wilson – the Kokedama) – Big WOW features
Borde Hill Garden in Sussex – www.bordehill.co.uk – image displayed above
Cranbrook Goes Nut in May Show in Kent – video displayed above
If you live in the Weald and are passionate about gardening and events relating to things that grow, please send in your photos or videos and we will display them here on The Big WOW – email firstname.lastname@example.org