My home, these days, is stuffed full of houseplants. An urban jungle, an indoor rainforest, a interior garden… …you get the idea, there’s a lot of greenery.
Though I’ve not been blogging so much recently, I’ve developed a bit of an Instagram addiction (go and check me out over there if you’re not already! @wolvesinlondon). Some of my most popular photos there are my houseplants of the week: where I share some snaps of my favourite plants, along with a bit of info on how I look after them.
I thought it would make sense to bring that over onto my blog too: a weekly post about one of my plants, with a few care tips, a few photos, and some suggestions about where best to keep it. Plus, of course, the luxury of a little more space to write than I get in my Instagram stories.
So, if a plant filled home sounds like your kinda bag, check in each week for a meet and greet with my houseplants.
The first post is up now, and I’ll add each new plant here as it goes live…
The 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.
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.
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.
Holy moley, the year suddenly seems to be flying by and we’re into February already. And the start of Feb can mean but one thing: the imminent arrival of Valentine’s Day, that gigantic commercial event to make you part with lots of cash.
I’m not normally a big fan of celebrating Valentine’s (could you have already guessed that?!) but I do love a small, thoughtful, ideally handmade gesture and if there are plants involved, why, all the better!
So I bring you my five favourite plant-related tutorials / ideas for Valentine’s Day.
My hubby is not such a plant lover as I am (read: has no interest in plants whatsoever) but if you have a green-fingered lover in your life, these would go down a treat.
Talking cacti, from Look What I Made
Long-term readers might recall my very own cactus saga, but these little cuties are almost enough to win me back round to the spiky beasts.
I was first alerted to this adorable heart shaped plant by Gardenista about a year ago and I’ve since seen it popping up all over the place.
Hoya kerrii, to give it its proper Latin name, is festooned with heart-shaped leaves. As it’s easy to propagate, you can take an individual leaf and plant it wherever you want. In this case, on the joyofplants website, in a mug to go with your breakfast in bed.
3. String of hearts plant (model’s own)
Oh, I know, I’m completely obsessed with my string of hearts plant, but… …just look at it!
I don’t think you’d need to do much more than tie a bow around a pot of one of these to make a really glorious present.
You can see a few more pictures of mine on my first Urban Jungle Bloggers article, plants and art.
4. A heart-shaped garden pond
Lovely readers, if any of you have been burning with unrequited love for me recently and are looking for a way to show me that you care then may I eagerly suggest creating one of these amazing carved stone ponds?!
I suspect only a professional stonecarver could whip one of these up in time for the 14th but, my goodness, wouldn’t this just be amazing out in a garden? I love the idea of it filling up with rainwater after a heavy downpour.
I found this on Pinterest and spent ages trying to trace its original source. I *think* that it is from the Baron’s Palace Hotel in Oudtshoorn, South Africa. A place that was, according to its website, built by a wealthy “ostrich baron” at “the turn of the century” (by which, I assume, it means 19th to 20th and not just 16 years ago. Though I might be wrong…) Anyway, the image seems to come from this Facebook post. And I am now dreaming of taking a trip to the Karoo, a place I barely knew about before, and watching some kind of ostrich-based sport like this. The wonders of the internet, eh?!
5. My life would succ without you, by See Kate Sew
Ah, succulents, what celebration would be complete without them? And I love a pun almost as much as I love a succulent, so this could well be the perfect gift in my eyes…
The tutorial comes with a free printable for the cute labels too, check it out here: See Kate Sew.
Now, tell me, do you have plans for Valentine’s Day this year? Oh, and if you’re in the mood for a non-plant-related DIY, then do check out my top 10 Valentine’s tutorials as well…
I’m a bit late with the December post for Urban Jungle Bloggers. As the eagle-eyed among you will have spotted, it’s not actually December anymore.
But the theme for the month is planty wishes for 2016 and I love it so much that I can’t miss the chance to join in, even if it’s nearly two weeks belatedly.
My planty wishes for this year are very simple: I just want more plants!
Lots and lots more plants.
To represent my plantopia, I’ve gathered together every single plant I have in my house and put them all into one place. (That place being a rather lovely old wooden ladder…)
Essentially, this is the look I want in every single room of the house by the end of the year. Ha ha, does that sound a little bit crazed?!
I need to work out positions for the plants where they can’t be too destroyed by the children, as well as simply buying quite a few more plants in the next few months, but that’s just the practicalities to figure out before I can achieve the dream!
Watch this space, friends, 2016 is set to be the year of the houseplant chez Wolves in London.
I’d written you a ridiculously whiney blog post to go with these pictures a week or so ago.
It was mostly complaining about the lack of light and how much I had to do at the moment.
“Oh I’m sooooooo busy right now.” “Oh the light is sooooo bad right now.” “Oh I’m soooooo stressed out right now.” Moan, moan, whinge, whinge etc etc.
Anyway, it made for terribly dull reading and besides, any reasons for moaning are all in the past now, for my garden design assignments were completed and handed in on Friday and the sun, the sun, the wonderful sun, has been back out in the sky these past few days (even if only for a few hours).
So I’ve hit delete on that and here I am instead with nothing much to say but just some photos for this month’s Urban Jungle Bloggers.
The topic this month is plant shelfie; a topic I read with glee when the email came round last month.
My “shelf” (ahem, yes I know it is really my mantelpiece) is currently heaving with succulents. I bought all the plants a few weekends ago at the RHS Frost Fair, a fun-filled day of reindeer-feeding, Christmas wreath making and plant purchasing.
I’m not actually going to keep them all there, in one place, like a crazy succulent lady, but with the rather gloomy weather we’re having, it’s one of the few places in the house that still gets a decent amount of sunlight.
So, for the next few months, I’ll be crazy succulent lady, gathering all my fat little treasures into a sun-drenched spot. In fact, since I took the photos, I’ve added a few more plants to the collection.
So that’s my shelfie. Do go and check out some others over at Urban Jungle Bloggers; I’m lusting for a seriously increased houseplant collection after reading some of these posts…
I’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.
It’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.
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.
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.