Urban Jungle Bloggers: jungle animals

Urban Jungle Bloggers: jungle animalsThe almost-overwhelming temptation, for this month’s UJB theme of jungle animals, was to bring the chickens inside and create a little jungle for them to wander around in the kitchen.

The downsides to this plan are many, the two most obvious being a kitchen floor covered in chicken poo and the inevitable demise of all my plants as the chickens devour them entirely in the time I snap a few photos. (I saw them strip a rogue fern outside of all green foliage in about five minutes the other day…)

The upsides are few, but oh-so-good: a photo of the chickens surrounded by my houseplants!

Sadly for artistic expression, sanity prevailed and I have saved the houseplants and the wooden kitchen floor by leaving the chickens to peck around outside.

Netsuke jungle rabbit

Instead, you have some photos of this non-crapping and non-eating but still rather lovely netsuke bunny rabbit, wandering in its own little plantopia.

The rabbit was a present from my grandparents, many many years ago when I was deemed too small to play with a stone ornament. I don’t remember being particularly interested by it at the time of receiving it (the ungrateful nature of children, ha ha) but I really do love it now.

It’s satisfyingly heavy and cold to the touch, though it normally resides in a vintage printer’s tray, surrounded by random natural things brought inside by the kids.

Urban jungle bloggers: jungle animalsUrban jungle bloggers: jungle animals

As for the plants (really the point of this post, and one to which I turn rather late in the day), the models in this picture are my little alpines – newly repotted in honour of this photo session – along with my beloved echeveria in the back, all draped with my even-more-beloved string of hearts. All are plants that have taken pretty good care of themselves, so far, with a minimum intervention of watering from me. Just what I like in a plant…

So, no chickens, no poo, houseplants still alive and a rather sweet rabbit allowed to be the star of the show. I probably made the right choice…

Do go and check out other people’s (frequently far more impressive) interpretations over at the Urban Jungle Bloggers website: February 2016 jungle animals.

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Urban Jungle Bloggers: plants and art

 

Urban Jungle Bloggers: plants and artI’m sure you’ve all come across Urban Jungle Bloggers, a monthly series about living with plants, organised by Igor and Judith, that aims to:

“highlight the beauty and benefits of houseplants and other greeneries in urban spaces.”

As you know, I’m something of a plant fanatic, so the only surprise is that it’s taken me so long to join in. *

This month, the topic is plants and art and I had planned to get my little bathroom plant crew (a few ferns and lovers of low-light) and photograph them with some of my old botanical illustrations.

But yesterday, I bought this little beauty as a birthday present for sister and just couldn’t resist photographing it before I hand it over to its new home.

String of hearts plantIt’s called string of hearts (Latin name: Ceropegia woodii) and, oh my goodness, it is an absolute stunner. I didn’t know it before (I’m not wildly up on houseplants, it has to be said) but it stopped me in my tracks when I went into the flower shop originally to try and buy a small succulent in a terracotta pot. I couldn’t resist.

The glorious little marbled heart-shaped leaves spaced out on a long string-like stem makes it just beg for an old pot and a position on a high shelf, where it can cascade down appealingly.

Ceropegia woodii leaf

I found an Alys Fowler piece about it on the Guardian which says it’s super easy to care for and not too fussy about light levels, fluctuating temperatures or high humidity. (So, potentially, good for a bathroom or kitchen.)

Pretty to look at and easy to care for: basically my idea of the perfect houseplant.

Maltese statue

As for the “art,” hem hem, this is a little replica statue I bought on holiday in Malta a few years back. I’m sure I’m showing my ignorance by no longer having any recollection of what exactly it is replicating. But I have always loved her tiny head and fat thighs. Beauty in all shapes and all that…

So, that’s my contribution. Do head over to Urban Jungle Bloggers to see more, or take a look at the #urbanjunglebloggers hashtag on instagram. I can already tell I will be enjoying taking part in this monthly challenge hugely.

But now, I think, I must run back to the flower shop and buy one of these string of hearts plants for myself. I think I’m just going to miss it too much once I give this one away.

*Actually, if you’re a regular reader, you probably won’t be in the slightest surprised, knowing that my To Do list is generally six pages longer than my “Done” list, ha ha.