Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Black thumb's guide to houseplants


Plants! I love them!!
It is a new-found love, I'll admit, as I have been famously known to possess the notorious "black thumb"!
But plants are fantastic and have so many positive benefits on the environment in your home + they really liven up any interior, and help making your home feel more authentic!



So why should't I, in spite of my reputation as "doctor death" also have a green home??

So about a month or so ago, I challenged myself to add some more plants to my home....


There have been attempts before, some more successful than others, and some of my blessed green friends have, in spite thorough neglect, managed to survive so far: Like the - against all odds- coconut tree "Arthur", above (Apparently coconut tree's are really difficult to grow, but somehow mine's doing just fine)


And my philodendron and the spider plants in my kitchen windows are also doing fine...


But this time I am planning on going seriously jungle green around here!

It is still a work in process as I am finding that this green thing is highly addictive, and I keep adding more and more greenery to our home! Risque?? I know, But I am pleased to say that so far so good....maybe I've finally cracked it??



I started cautiously with the easiest options:
Cactus and succulents!
These plants are very hard to kill as they require little to no attention. In fact: Neglecting these are probably the best thing you can do for them!
And I love that they are so exotic and come in all sorts of shapes, colours and sizes!
So it's a no brainer really!!


I've had some of my succulents for over a year now(?!!!!) dotted around the place and forgotten about ...and they are still looking good!

I do love the unusual shapes and colours the numerous varieties of succulents has to offer, and they really are so hardy....almost impossible to kill (take my word for it!)


The String of nickels succulent plant, below, I actually got for my re-decorated  kitchen a year or so ago, and it is still looking lush and has become one of my favorites, especially grouped together with a cactus and some fresh flowers:


If you like the printed terracotta pot on the cactus, I will show you how in my next post! I really is sooooo easy!!
This is another thing I love about keeping plants: What a great reason to add some gorgeous pottery to your home!! 
I am mostly using what I've got and DIY'ing most of mine, because as always money is tight, but I did treat myself to this gorgeous number, below, from Habitat:


This is my latest addition to my growing succulent collection, an easy-to-keep money tree, and I love that this has the ability (should I not manage to kill it) to grow quite big!!

So if you, like me are nervous about keeping plants as you fear you'll kill them, succulents and cactus is a great start towards a greener home!

Another easy way to add some greenery to your home is fresh flowers!
 placing some twigs and green flowers around the place in vases is pretty guilt free if you really are concerned about becoming a plant serial killer, as they only have a short lifespan anyway.


It is a temporary solution, but none the less effective! I like simple arrangements of inexpensive flowers like tulips and carnations. And I know most florists hate them , but I love a few sprigs of baby's breath...just on their own, in a vase. I try to always have some fresh cut flowers in the house, as it makes me happy!!
 But my favorite flowers are Ranunculus, which are just coming into season now! (Happy face) 


And in the kitchen I have started keeping living herbs around: Not only do they add a lovely splash of green to the interior, but are also useful for cooking....and because they are intended for use, I don't have to worry about killing them! See my logic there?


As my home has started looking more and more green over the last few months, I can feel my confidence rising, and last month I decided to try my hand at something a little more exotic: Air plants:


I'd heard that air-plants were easy as they got all the moisture they needed from the air, so needed little to no attention....turns out this is not strictly true, as they would benefit from a monthly bath in the sink, and regular misting: But so far so good: Mine seem to be thriving in the DIY geometric shaped planters I made for them with he occasional misting! ( I am lucky that Little Miss Moo loves misting them...LOL) I guess they quite enjoy the damp English weather so far!!


And with Easter now approaching, I've even added a few daffodil bulbs around the place, hopeful that they will bloom in time for the holidays...


I am quietly confident that they will as I am feeling quite optimistic about my new jungle-ish look home: Even my dying olive tree (in the background , below) is coming back to life:


I have come to suspect that my "black thumbs" was just a symptom of my lack of confidence with plants....I may be wrong, only time will tell! But for now I am thoroughly enjoying my lush green looking home!
 And maybe it's the air purifying effect of  keeping plants combined with the lighter days, but I am feeling a lot more optimistic and healthy! I am hoping to report more on the health benefits of keeping plants in a later post!

In summary, I would conclude that if you have "black thumbs" or simply lack the time to care for plants...or maybe you are scared of the commitment keeping houseplants will be: Choosing super hardy, low maintenance plants like cactus, succulents, philodendrons, spider plants and English Ivy, that can go for long periods of time without water and/or survive poor lighting conditions would be an ideal investment in creating a happier, healthier and greener looking home!
And maybe, you, like me, will start feeling more confident as time goes by, and start introducing some more greenery to your family!!

If you'd like a little more inspiration, or some more useful guides to hardy house plants, see my Pinterest board Greenery, where I am pinning like a lunatic at the moment!!

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