indoor plants

Chinese Money Plant

there are certain plants that continue to pop up in beautifully styled homes in magazines or blogs or instagram. first it was the delicious monster, then it was the fiddle leaf fig, and now it’s the Chinese Money Plant aka Pilea peperomioides. this is probably the most interesting one of them all, not just in looks but also because of the amazing story behind it.

the unusual little plant started popping up in households all over Britain in the seventies, which puzzled botanists as the species had not even been officially identified. eventually they traced the origin of the plant to a range of mountains in the Yunnan province of China. but HOW did it get to Britain? how indeed. in 1983 the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew published a newspaper article asking if anyone had any leads on the introduction of the plant, to which a family from Cornwall called the Sidebottoms (you can’t make this up) answered. their au pair Modil Wigg was from Norway, and their daughter Jill who had holidayed with the Wigg family had brought a plant home with her sometime in the 1960s. so, that traces the routes to Scandinavia, but HOW did it get there? turns out…

A Norwegian missionary, Agnar Espegren, brought the plant to Norway from China in 1946. In 1944 the Norwegian missionaries in China had had to leave. Agnar Espegren and his family, then living in Hunan province, were taken by an American plane to Kunming in Yunnan where they stayed about a week awaiting further transport to India. During this brief stay in Kunming Mr Espegren obtained a live specimen of the plant (possibly from a local market) and packed it in a small box, which was then brought together with his family and all their baggage to Calcutta where they stayed for nearly a year. The Espegren family arrived back in Norway in March 1946 with the plant miraculously still alive. Mr Espegren subsequently travelled widely in Norway and often gave basal shoots of the plant to friends. In this way the plant was effectively distributed around Norway where it is now widespread as a window sill plant, and where it is known as ‘the missionary plant’.

well, i suppose we must all thank Agnar Espegren, and 9-year-old Jill Sidebottom, for making this sweet little plant a still flourishing part of window sills all over Europe. i hope that i can find one in South Africa somewhere… anyone have any leads for me feel free to direct them my way (or i might be forced to publish a newspaper article).

photo by Mieke Verbijlen

photo by Mieke Verbijlen

photos by Frida Ramstedt for Trendenser

photos by Frida Ramstedt for Trendenser

photos by Bart Kiggen for All Items Loaded

photos by Bart Kiggen for All Items Loaded

photos by Amanda Wright

photos by Amanda Wright

photo by Belle Fleur de lis

photos by Belle Fleur de Lis

photo by Lisettes Perler

photo by Lisettes Perler

18

Kekkilä

my philosophy when it comes to indoor plants is basically “yes please, more is better”. especially if you live in apartment with no outdoor area to speak of. we don’t have a balcony or garden, but i would love to grow herbs in our kitchen – unfortunately it’s a small space that gets no light. also facing the sad fact that we’re running out of sill space for the burgeoning greenery.

that’s why i just love these clever products designed by Linda Bergroth & Klaus Aalto for Kekkilä. that green light is just genius. the nursery shelves and the pot step are also super cool (feels like a DIY idea to steal?) also this lady is clearly having the best time in her flat surrounded by all these amazing plants. i’ll have what she’s having (ahem).

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Potted

budget. i hate that word. my financial methodology is more along the lines of “try to be sensible and then hope for the best.” i’m not a planner by any means. i don’t, for instance,  make lists when i go to the grocery store (that’s why all those tins of stuffed olives keep cropping up in the fridge.) but, i do keep the financial lessons learnt from my parents fresh in my mind – my mom still has her little notebooks where she wrote down every single thing they spent money on as a young couple starting out. they even made their own beer. how’s that for thrifty, eh?

the reason i’m talking about budgets is because i want to make my home look a little bit nicer. but how! right now i’m living with my two friends who are similarly budget minded, and we’re trying to deal with a dining room that is sparse and empty. “maybe we should put some art on the walls” – we muse. actually, that is a good idea (my bedroom already has nil wall space left due to this.) but you know what else is a good idea? PLANTS.

i am a bit obsessed with the idea of indoor plants right now. anyone have tips for venturing into this territory? nice plants that won’t die too easily… succulents? i do love the look of them, but also don’t want our place to look like a desert garden conservatory (or do i?) also we don’t get an awful lot of sunlight in most of the flat unfortunately, so i think our future plants would have to be okay with that.

botany factory

the selby

old brand new

{joojoo}

old faithful shop

old chum

the brick house

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