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

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Belle Fleur de Lis

Lotte Janssens is a lacemaker & crocheter from Antwerp who clearly has very talented & creative fingers – as you can see by her delicate work below. she also has somewhat of a green thumb, as her home is filled with an assortment of beautiful plants. you can buy her wares at her shop, see her photos on flickr and learn more about her & her work at her blog.















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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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Pumped about Plants

i felt like this post needed an exclamation mark because i’m quite excited about plants at the moment. you might remember my post, more than a year ago now, about wanting to get some indoor plants. if you are keen to get some plants but don’t know where to start definitely read the comments in that post – incredibly informative and helpful. subsequently i started out with succulents because i thought they wouldn’t be too easy to kill. turns out i kind of underestimated how fickle plants can be – succulents need plenty of light but not too much direct sunlight, and only occasional watering. they’re like teenagers, they kind of just want to be left alone. after a bit of trial and error my succulents are still thriving many months later.

so i feel like i’m ready to explore a brave new world of botanical treasures! and i dipped my toe into that pond recently when i bought a plant for anton’s birthday.  i wanted to find an indoor plant that ventured into delicious monster / swiss cheese territory (mmm, cheese) and ended up picking out this regal guy which so nicely matches his manly chair:

that is a split leaf philodendron by the way. thanks for pointing that out, matt.

it’s a nice size, and i think something that would work well gathered together with similarly sized plants. like so,

left: elina dahl | right: the design files

photo: mieke willems

source: the new york times

…or in a room full of many, many plants!

source: apartment therapy

source: woolly pocket

then again there is something nice about just one beautiful plant that takes center stage…

photo: elisabeth aarhus

source: iacoli & mcallister

source: woolly pocket

…especially when they are BIG!

source: elle decor

left: elle decor |  right: jawbone

source: hiromatsu

source: woolly pocket

i haven’t ventured into hanging plant territory yet, which feels kind of higher grade to me, but i would definitely be tempted by these leather pot plant suspenders by caroline gomez:

also keen on a hanging garden from local plant designer opus (left – also seen here) and this hanging basket (right):

filling a wall of shelves with plants is also wonderful, as seen in the malababa stores:

ibq370uXWhUOla.jpg (660×495)

here’s a cool way to combine those two concepts – hanging window boxes:

wall plants have taken to another level by the clever guys at woolly pocket

whichever way i end up going (and i might go in all directions eventually) i’m even more pumped about plants now. is your home being overrun by plants? cause if it is – i want to see! please share links to your blog / instagram / flickrs in the comments (and any plant tips are always appreciated)

Comments { 33 }

Bread & Wine & Exotic plants

i went to bread & wine this past weekend, the beautiful restaurant at moreson wine farm in franschhoek. this place is heaven for me –  99% due to their homemade charcuterie. i am a sucker for some cured meat. but i’m not going to talk about the delicious mozzarella & tomato salad (with crystalized basil leaf, mind you) or the amazing setting that makes this place such a winner. no, indeed. they are also home to the exotic plant company which tempted me with so many different kinds of awesomely alien looking orchids i almost couldn’t stand it. my flatmate jessica, whose birthday we were celebrating, says that they are actually pretty easy to take care of – if you know what you’re doing… i distinctly don’t know what i’m doing, so i didn’t end up walking home with an orchid. but i took a lot of photos.

which reminds me, my new succulents are doing okay and have made the flat look so much more appealing. i had a mini freakout a while ago because the little beasts looked like they were dying on me, but then a ton of helpful people on twitter advised that they should be ignored and basically not watered. well, if you say so!

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cact’aaaight

does anyone else extend words that end in i, and throw a gangster ‘aaaight’ on the end? well i do, and now you probably will too. cact’aaaight?! these cacti are throughly un-gangster, apart from the fact that they’re kind of dangerous (nay, prickly.) i’ve never been very partial to cacti, but i am now – the colours swayed me. photos by elly yap

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holding onto summer

i love love love this photo by sarah montour – expecting a lot of this in the next few months (hello summer).

Comments { 1 }