I will always love fresh flowers in the house. There’s an element of simplicity and sophistication that blooms seem to capture. Like when someone compliments your outfit and you reply ‘Oh, this old thing?!’. Flowers are grown-up and pretty, without really trying. They just are.
House plants though, I’ve never really had an affinity for. To me, they remind me of Australian suburbia circa 1994. Palms and Calla lilies in sturdy rectangular cane planter boxes, on beige linoleum floors quietly wilting in the summer heat. Meant to look all tropical and fresh, but instead looking droopy, brown and dry. Or even better, the fabric, plastic variety of house plant that sort of look reals from afar but when you get close up is covered in dust and spiderwebs. Yuck!
After a couple of mega Pinteresting sessions though, I’m slowly starting to reconsider the humble house plant. I’ve been quietly lusting over images of kitchens and sitting rooms, neutrally decorated in whites, greys and navy with hints of greenery. Tendrils of leaves, tumbling oh-so-perfectly from cute pots sat on open shelving surrounded by pretty mugs and copper saucepans.
I bought by accident a house plant the other week. Adam was making a lamb dish that needed mint leaves. There were no small packets of fresh mint leaves available, so I picked up a mint plant instead. We’d had a relatively successful herb garden when we lived in Wagga Wagga and had talked about doing something similar in England but due to the season hadn’t bothered with it yet. I found a little bowl and sat it in front of the window near our kitchen sink.
Over the weekend while visiting Adam’s grandparents, I clumsily knocked over a house plant making a lovely mess of soil on the cream carpet. While cleaning it all up, I noticed the plant had a few ‘extra bits’ of greenery in its pot. I learnt it was a spider plant and Granny told me every house should have one. She sent me home with one of the ‘extra bits’, which I’ve since learnt are called spiderettes (!), and told me to put it in some water until its roots grow.
The spider plant is now living beside the mint. They look ever so nice, sitting in our yellow kitchen. Instead of being outdated and naff, they almost feel like company when you’re standing at the sink washing dishes. Also, on cold drizzly days when the fog doesn’t lift I like the little reminder of the outdoors, indoors.
I won’t say I’m a convert when it comes to house plants… but for now the two in our home are staying! Do you have house plants? What can you recommend? – Suggestions on what does well in grey English weather would be appreciated!