WELCOME BACK to this weeks episode of the blog series, where Claire Parkin and I have pulled together to share with you some amazing and inspiring information.
This week we are excited to talk to you about …
“The joy of living and designing with plants in our homes, and bringing the outside in.”
Whether you own a home, or are renting one, and regardless of its size, you may have chosen to incorporate natural elements from outside, to live with in your home.
For example, embracing the imperfections found in wooden floors, the warmth of the grain seen in wooden doors, and possibly stone or marble finishes in kitchens and bathrooms. This thought process carries on, even in our chosen furniture, whether its wood or leather, animal hides and rugs made with natural fibres, not forgetting to mention all the MANY cushions we choose to fill it with!!
Its true to say that nature is rejuvenating, and living with natural elements in our homes, creates a calming and stabilising environment. One of the best ways that we can add to this homely feeling is by utilising space we have for plants!… Small or large, hanging or potted, placed on floors or shelves, plants bring to life a home, and continue to work hard for you by cleansing your air and adding numerous other health benefits, like lowering blood pressure and easing stress!
When designing for a client, I always discuss plants as a part of the scheme so they truly form a part of the home. There are lots of aspects to consider when bringing plants into our lives. For example, which plants are best suited to different areas of the home. Differences in humidity, light and heat, places where they won’t be neglected, or perhaps attacked by pets, and have space to grow.
So, how do we best care for plants at this time of year?
The nights are drawing in, there’s less daylight, the heating is on, and many fires are lit!
So how do these created warm environments effect our plants? Im excited to introduce to you, the fabulous team at London House Plants to guide us, with their expert knowledge on this topic.
A little info on London House Plants
We are a small family business based in Essex and London, starting at the world famous Columbia Road Flower Market back in 2003/2004, we have now grown to be a recognised name in the house plant industry. We offer a wide variety of different indoor plants delivered nationwide directly to our customers (securely via DPD), as well as office consultancy and request/rare plant sourcing. In June 2020 we moved into our new home, a 1,000+ sq ft space in HARLOW ESSEX which then opened to the public in September 2020, this new space has allowed us to expand our distribution and has been such a fantastic retail/outlet opportunity, we have thousands of plants in stock which customers LOVE! We work closely with our buyers in Holland to offer exceptional quality house plants at fantastic prices, and free nationwide delivery. Our HARLOW ESSEX centre/outlet is currently open 11am-7pm on Monday-Friday (opening days/hours correct until end of 2020).
The importance of house plants/indoor plants within a home
I am sure you will agree, house plants can absolutely transform a space/room, they can add a beautiful splash of green to a neutral space or with a mix of different house plants at different heights, can really change the look and feel of a room. If you just want a couple, (well) or a few, they can look absolutely brilliant spread throughout a home or if you want to go all out and create your own urban jungle/tropical home, it can easily be achieved.
AND, they offer more than just a beautiful look, there are many house plants which are fantastic at air purifying, they are capable of destroying the negative/dangerous toxics within the air in your home environment, examples of these plants include; ARECA PALMS, SNAKE PLANTS AND RUBBER PLANT (and many, many more).
How to care for your house plants/indoor plants now we are in the winter
In an average day in the UK summer, we receive 15 hours-16 hours of daylight whereas in an average day in the UK winter, we receive just 7 hours-8 hours of daylight, due to this drastic drop in sunlight/daylight new growth on many house plants can slow and some could even become dormant, where possible, (although this does not apply to all house plants), move them closer to the light, get them closer to a window to enable them to enjoy as much of that daylight we do have. All house plants are unique, in a UK wintertime some house plants can really slow down whereas others can continue to grow and flourish, and look absolutely incredible (such as the Christmas cactus).
As most of us do have and feel the need for central heating during the UK wintertime we just need to keep an eye on our house plants. Many of the house plants we all own and love are originally from warm tropical climates and will cope okay with a warm room however, do ensure they are not that close to a radiator whilst also ensuring they are not near a cold draft. A RUBBER PLANT will often be okay near-ish a radiator whereas many PALMS would not. Many SUCCULENTS and even POTHOS varieties would be okay near a draft whereas most FERNS would not.
As in the UK wintertime, we receive less daytime many (not all!) house plants will require less watering, they are growing less and do not need as much water to survive, we would recommend monitoring you house plants watering needs carefully, by checking the soil moisture (around an inch below the soil surface), every three days-five days. Some of your house plants will still need their weekly water whereas others will just require once a fortnight.
Hopefully those tips will assist you to be a responsible houseplant parent during this UK wintertime and don’t forget, there is no better Christmas gift than a HOUSE PLANT!
To help with this we would like to give you a special gift!
15% of ALL our plants 16/11/2020 to 26/11/2020
Enter the following code at the checkout ‘NOVEMBER15’
Plants can also lift the ambience and add the softening touch when used in the design process for every room in your home. Here are three top tips to be guided by:
1: Plants are incredibly varied in size, shape, colour and aroma. Any good design scheme should include plants as a go to living accessory. Team these with complimenting finishes in the room like a variety of pots in textures and sizes, wall or shelf art, rugs, throws, books and candles.
Plan their situation in the space you’re designing, during the design process. There are several options to consider such as, hanging, potted, floor standing, placed on shelves or even a feature botanical wall. Air plants can also hang off of other items like furniture and picture frames and hooks. These plants also need little care so they are easy to manage
2: Make sure you choose the right size plant for your space. For example, if you have a small area with low ceilings avoid an extra large floor standing plant that will end up commanding the space and overpowering your furniture. Likewise, if you have a large room with high ceilings, stay away from choosing a smaller variety of plant to stand alone, as they will lack presence and look lost in the space. Our plants can be a statement piece on their own, or a complimenting array, placed together to create a focused display.
3: Choose YOUR right plant. Plants, like pets come in many different varieties. Hairy, tough and hardwearing, or high maintenance, fragile and needing lots of attention. They are all perfect in their own way, but which ones can you best care for, and which plant will best fit your home, rewarding your efforts with longterm growth? For example the ‘Crassula Hobbit Succulent’ (featured above) needs little water and loves lots of light, so easy for the less green fingered. ‘The Calathea’ (also featured above) comes in several variations, it is a smaller plant that spreads its leaves wide and full of colour. It adds a great statement to a small open area and only needs a water once a week!
Possibly the best tip when buying plants, is to always ask the experts like the ones we have here this week from London House Plants.
So hop over now to Claire Parkin to continue this discussion. Claire has got some fabulous top tips and she’s going to be showing you a practical way of designing with plants at home that we think you will really enjoy!
Next week, we will be discussing how we can make and keep our homes more HARDWEARING, Especially due to us all living and working from more and during the harder winter months. Watch this space for more inspiration and guidance from our special guest.