I’m not a natural house plant person
For many years I disliked the aesthetic concept of having houseplants in my home! I think it’s because I grew up in the 70s, amidst many many …. many cheese plants, spider plants and ferns, nestled into every corner of a house of orange pine, brown hessian and yellow flower power. I’m very visually driven, with a slight colour obsession and I’m afraid Green and orange just ain’t my thing.
I just can’t keep them alive!
So for most of my adult life, asserting independence from my hippy dippy childhood, I’ve created homes in cool contemporary colours – with no plants. However, during the last few years, I have inexplicably found myself drawn towards having plants – even lots of plants - in my home again. The only problem is – I simply can’t keep them alive! I can’t even keep a cactus alive! I mean I’ve tried, but most of the time I simply forget to water them and then when I remember, I swiftly drown them. So I replaced them all with faux plants – or fake plants, as my 10yr old daughter insists on calling them.
But then Haws contacted me …
But then the lovely people at Haws contacted me - possibly fooled by the permanently lush burgeoning greenery in my home into thinking I was a house plant expert - and asked me to try out some of their watering cans. Errrrm … should I admit my plants are all plastic? Or shall I just pretend to water them and take some pictures?
… and their cans are so gorgeous
Instead, I decided to seize the moment for change. Looking through the Haws website, I realised their watering cans just might be the answer to all my houseplant woes. The cans are so beautiful and are made in so many gorgeous colours that I reckoned I could leave them out, dotted around my home, as rather practical objet d’art, so that I’d never forget to water the plants again
I created a family challenge
“My cactuses [sic] are so cute! And when I water the heathers on my windowsill, it makes me feel productive.” Coco, 10
So I’ve created a challenge for my myself and my two children and I’ve bought us a real live houseplant each (well three little cacti for my daughter, as she’s obsessed), as well as some window boxes filled with heather. We are going to try to keep them all alive for a month – and hopefully longer! I’ve allocated one watering can to each of us and together we are going on a journey of plant care discovery. We’re currently two weeks in and things are looking good!
“It makes my room feel fresh and I like having the responsibility of having my own plant to look after.” Zach, 13
So what can I report so far?
Well, the children – a 13yr old boy and a 10yr old girl – love having their own plant to look after and they also love having their own watering can. My 13yr old boy actually said that the plant made his room feel ‘fresh’ – is this the first time a teenage boy’s room has ever felt fresh?!
Actually, we’re all loving having real green leaves in our home – it makes the whole place feel more alive and dare I say, more healthy. We’re certainly not ever going to forget to water the plants, because our beautiful cans are constantly on display, but we are a little concerned about over watering them, because we keep wanting to use our cans. But this has meant that we’re constantly having conversations with each other, checking our plants and feeling the earth. I love that. We’re having new conversations as a family.
So, thank you Haws! You’ve brought new life into our home, in more ways than one.
But what of the colour schemes?
Well, the good news is that green is now a key part of my colour scheme throughout our flat and Haws produce their cans in lots of gorgeous colours, so I chose three that would work well in various rooms.
In Coco’s room, we went for the copper one. Her room is a very simple scheme of soft pink, gold, white and grey; as a warm pink metallic, copper sits perfectly within these colours and indeed brings them together, creating a beautiful harmonious scheme. Lots of people say you can’t mix metallics, but why not?! Sometimes rules are there to be broken to create something really special.
Coco’s room – pink, gold and copper
Although, Coco’s room has East and South facing windows, copper is also a particularly good metallic for North facing rooms, if you want to warm them up. In the Northern hemisphere North light is bluer, i.e. colder and the room will often be darker, so the pink warmth of copper will counteract this coldness and will also reflect any light there is, bouncing it around the room with added warmth.
Zach’s room is all blues and greens, again with some warm metallics and a striking complementary colour of rich berry. I didn’t want to introduce another colour into this strong mix, so we chose a watering can in sage to blend in a little more, so that it was a subtle addition. I have to say I’m thrilled that it works so beautifully with the Deep Water Green paint on his walls and stronger blues and greens of his bed.
Zach’s room – blue, green and berry
Green, especially the soft sage green of this can, is such a flexible colour – it can almost be considered a neutral. Green and blue is a really easy colour scheme to put together and is also very restful to live in. Blue and green have clinically proven healing qualities and blue is even known to lower your heart rate – part of the reason why I chose this scheme for my boy, as he enters the more turbulent teen years!
However, green also works fantastically well with pink, because it’s a complementary colour on the opposite side of the colour wheel. Indeed pink and green is both a classic colour combination and one of the most popular combinations in interior design currently, so you could easily put this sage can almost anywhere.
Our bathroom is a deliciously zesty combination of pinks, greens and yellows, so almost any colour would work in here, but I chose the yellow watering can, because it picks up the bright yellow in my hand painted zig zag mural so perfectly! I love the fact that its shiny intensity contrasts so beautifully with the softer, more bohemian textiles. This colour just adds a wonderful little bit of zing to the bathroom, which makes me smile every time I walk in.
The bathroom – pink, green, yellow and gold
The great thing about yellow is that it has a really high Light Reflective Value, meaning it reflects a lot of light – even sometimes more than white – enabling it to be used as a really effective way to highlight something. Think about why tennis balls are yellow, high viz vests etc. So if you want to highlight a beautiful object within a room, yellow is an excellent choice and what more delightful object to highlight than this little gem of a watering can? It can even double as a hair rinser, when we wash our hair in the bath!
I’m slightly obsessed now and might have to get a watering can for every room in the flat!
Anna Jacobs, Artist and Homeware Designer