plants I haven’t killed yet

Nothing turns a house into something warm, welcoming and full of great energy like plants. When we moved into our new home in February it was a pristine, clean, empty space just waiting for us to stamp our personalities on it. My husband and I have very different ideas about what this means. He likes clean, open spaces and I like to fill every up every gap with something. We’re working on a happy medium here, but 6 months later I still feel like our home needs a bit more “stuff” (he’d be horrified).

A happy medium in this ongoing debate is plants. They are an affordable, tangible way of filling up a gap without adding clutter. It’s working for us so far… although our new puppy has been methodically stripping the rubber plant of its leaves (sob) and I don’t know how much longer it will be able to survive the abuse.

To combat this I have been getting creative with displaying plants above ‘puppy-seek-and-destroy’ level. We mounted a trellis on an outside wall and attached pots of herbs (Cole destroyed our other herb garden in mere minutes), I’ve also bought some hanging plants and macramé plant holders to hang from the ceilings. Ha! Now, he has to content himself with slippers (and anything else he finds on the floor, which is a lot… and the rubber plant…)

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Budget friendly herb garden

A trellis on the wall, some pots, wire and herbs. And a husband with a drill. I’m loving my new herb garden. Will be adding to it over the next few weeks.

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Sansevieria (also known as Mother-in-Law’s tongue)

My dear entrance hall plant is a delight. It doesn’t need or want much water and just gets on with being cool. It hasn’t grown much since I bought it, but I’m adding plant food and hoping for the best – I want a tall, architectural wonder there in a few months. Fingers crossed. Oh, and it’s in a pot holder well out of puppy reach.

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Spekboom

My dear little Spekboom happily gets on with things too. It was on the TV cabinet for a while, but that is within reach of little hands and the branches are so incredibly fragile that they kept snapping every time one of my kids looked at it. It’s much happier up on the shelf. Plenty of natural light and not much watering required.

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Hanging plants

These two hardy plants have had nothing but tough love. I completely neglect them for weeks, until the ball is shrivelled and I’m sure the plants are dead, then I soak them for days in plant food. They are fantastic and hanging on to life. I love them and am determined to start treating them with more respect.

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My (utterly non-expert) tips on keeping plants alive

1. Don’t get a puppy (kidding)
But really….
2. Mist your plants
I am either forgetting to water my plants, or I’m drowning them. If I keep a mist bottle on hand then I can putter around with water when I feel like it, without completely submerging them.
3. Dust your plants
Dust them with a slightly damp cloth to keep leaves happy and looking their best, it also helps your home feel cleaner.
4. Build collection slow and wisely
Chat to the peeps at the nursery about your space and what will work best. Read what it says on the pot and purchase some pot plant food. Start off slow and gain confidence as you learn how to care for them. It’s enormously satisfying watching your plants flourish!

— Emily

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