As humans we have an innate pull towards nature, it is why we feel invigorated in wide open green spaces and by the waves crashing on the shore.
Working with a view of the outdoors is proven to increase creativity, being surrounded by plants is known to reduce stress and increase clarity of thought.
Biophilic design is a concept which pulls all this together, It’s the use of
natural materials, plants and conditions to increase the connection to the natural environment and it’s one of the hottest trends in interior design at the moment. It therefore makes sense to have them in your home, right?
Once you start collecting plants it is a hard habit to break.
Personally I feel that plants are as integral to a room design as cushions and candles, no matter what the space is there will be a plant which is suitable; cacti and succulents on a sunny windowsill, spider plants, orchids and aloe vera in a humid bathroom, a devils ivy in a dark forgotten corner.
House plants to me are not just a fashion or a passing phase, I have always included them in any space I’ve lived in. As a young girl I had a tradescantia hanging in a macramé planter in my widow, he was called Theodore, the planter had conch shells, he epitomized eighties chic. I’ve a geriatric umbrella plant which is over thirty years old and has survived three house moves and a ceiling collapsing on it, he is in it for the long haul.
The Rowley Ripple Sage Two Pint and the Smethwick Spritzer Brass Half Pint.
Once you have the right plants you’ve got to have the right gear to look after them, acquiring new plant paraphernalia is almost as exciting as acquiring a new plant!
Essential Kit, Indoor watering can, (this one is the Rowley Ripple Two Pint) a spritzer (Smethwick Spritzer Brass Half Pint) both from HAWS, and a moisture meter.
Indoor Watering Cans
These Haws cans are handcrafted in Birmingham and have a bit of a cult following in the plant community. They are stylish enough to have out on display, I have two, one that lives downstairs and one for upstairs as I find the upstairs plants get a lot more sun and therefore need watering more often, a watering can on each floor saves my legs.
If you think about where your plant will live in the wild it will give you an idea of the environment it needs in your home. Jungle or rainforest plants like humidity and will benefit from regular misting. A good spritz once in a while will also keep your leaves clean and dust free.
You can pick these up relatively cheaply and is a much better indicator of you plant needing a drink than sticking your finger into the pot.
Plant pots: essential to match the plant to its indoor home, and all plant lovers know the well know cycle of buying bigger pots to move your plants on and then having to buy smaller plants for the cast aside pots, it is truly never ending.
Common House Plants
This is pretty indestructible and grows like the clappers, it trails down or can be trained around a frame or pole, he’s a thirsty fella who loves humidity and to be misted.
Another super easy one, mine are so happy I’m actually overrun with spider babies.
An Instagram must have, pop it in a sunny corner and watch it grow. It is from the rain forest and it’s arial roots are what it will naturally use to cling to trees and grow up towards the canopy. Train it up a moss stick, giving it plenty of water and regular misting.
Pilea (Chinese money plant)
He just needs a bright spot, watering once a week, and so the legend goes, if you put a coin in the soil it attracts wealth (I’m still waiting). It does, however, sprout baby plants like they’re going out of fashion and they are super easy to propagate.
String of Pearls
These are tricky, I’m on my fourth one, and to be perfectly honest most people would recommend you go faux, but I finally think I’ve cracked it. Mine hangs in a bright, south facing, bathroom window which gets sun shining down on to for most of the day. I give it a trickle of water once a fortnight and pretty much ignore it.
I love these spiky little fellas but unfortunately, they don’t love me back. They need a bright spot and should only be watered from spring until autumn. They don’t last very long here before they turn to mush.
I’m not over keen, and it wouldn’t be a plant which I would choose myself. For years they were the one of the only houseplants you could buy easily, and I received a few as gifts. There is one still hanging in there, thriving through neglect on my bathroom windowsill. I mist it, water it when
I remember and wipe down its leaves. Each year it rewards me with some half decent purple flowers.
I would dearly love to own a luscious fern, but these enter my house, whimper, and then die.
Hate them, the last thing I need when my house is crammed full
of carefully chosen decorations is a temperamental plant with red leaves to find houseroom for, if you are visiting me in December I would prefer chocolate please.
The supermarket plant in a novelty pot. No thank you.
How to Incorporate Plants into your Interior
A carefully chosen plant, for me this is the final flourish when I design a room and I'd like to share a few key areas of my home.
I always envisaged a jungle vibe in here and wanted to make the most of this south facing window. After a few trials and errors, I’ve found the perfect combination of trailing, sun loving beauties who, although are thriving there, do not shield the view of me hopping in and out of the shower from my long suffering neighbours. For a shorty like me a long-spouted HAWS can makes it easy to water the higher plants with climbing up, and this little spritzer is perfect for spritzing my much neglected orchid.
The bathboard is like another little shelf to fill with pretty things, I love styling it up to match the season, it’s the perfect spot for even more plants, and who said a shower rail was just for hanging shower curtains? Every once in a while the hanging plants need a good drench and drain over here, the burro’s tail is one of my absolute favourites, he doesn’t like full sun so loves to hang out over the bath.
This cool green space was crying out for a few luscious plants. The décor in here epitomizes biophilic design, through the use of plants, colour and natural materials. This copper one-pint HAWS watering can together with the spritzer fit in just perfectly.
I pick up decorative pots from all over the place, you can never have too many.
The beautiful green art deco style is by Giselda Graham and it’s currently home to a fish bone cactus, another favourite of mine and it’s actually a kind of orchid, so needs caring for in a similar way.
The face pot is by USKO Home and is home to a Christmas cactus which is very dear to me because it was a cutting from my late father in-law, I love the act of passing cuttings to friends and relations, a plant which you have propagated is such a personal gift.
This Pilea Greyzy sits in a beautiful pearlescent pink pot from Homesense.
A house full of thriving plants is a wonderful thing, it’s also a matter of trial and error finding the right ones for you. Don’t be disheartened if you lose a few, I’ve lost plenty over the years believe me, the most common reason being through over watering!
Just remember plants need, light, water and space to grow, as well as a pretty pot and an encouraging word now and again.
Joanne Hardcastle @hardcastletowers. Interior stylist and content creator