THE LIVING, THE ALMOST LIVING AND THE DEFINITELY DEAD!
Plants are an integral part of everyday life, the lush greens, the blossoming flowers, they connect us with the world and life around us. They help to soothe the soul, whether it’s the pleasure of watching them grow, or the simple beauty of nature, not only do they create a more peaceful, calming surrounding but they are also proven to reduce the levels of pollutant gasses, ignificantly increase productivity in office environments and, not to mention, provide the air.. that we BREATHE.
They also happen to be the ultimate styling accessory! The immediate elegance of plants as a design staple in homes, restaurants, offices and public spaces is well known. Our social media pages now see them dominating even the most unlikely of spaces bringing an unrivalled life and vibrancy to the most drab of environments.
Yet when styling your home, It’s often easy to overlook these little essentials of life. You may even look on in despair, seeing all those beautiful plants, draping leaves and blooming flowers. Thinking yeah, they look great but it’s just way too much maintenance, I work all day, I’m always busy and well.. they’ll all just die!
Well, here’s the good news! It’s easy and you can do it, with very little work you can have a veritable rainforest of enigmatic plants if you want to and not only will they be just fine, they’ll thrive! Or at the very least.. I’ll show you how to fake it until you make it.. live. Here are my three simple tips that will make your home and workspaces explode into life with minimal effort and very little maintenance - or in some cases, none at all!
THE LIVING – VINES AND CUTTINGS
These thriving little babies are a cheap, easy and low maintenance way to add some colour and fun to your space. Plants such as Epipremnum Aureum, AKA Devils Ivy and Carpobrotus Glaucescens, AKA Pig Face are a fabulous starter.
Buy one devils ivy plant (or grab a cutting if you’re fortunate to know someone who already has these babies) and they will grow and grow. They are one of the most low maintenance plants I have around the house. Although these are normally grown in soil, the cutting will live and grow in water which makes these perfect to fill your favourite empty bottle (not even any planting involved). The roots will eventually grow to fill whatever imaginative waterproof vessel you choose. The only thing then left for you to do is top up the water level every now and again. Great if you travel a lot or are away from home for long periods. You can basically ignore these little darlings except to gaze at their beauty in your space.
Pig Face are very tolerant against coastal conditions and if serious about growing these (outside of a bottle), they multiply fast. Lay rooting stems around 30cms in length, horizontally across the soil to mimic how they would grow naturally in and around rocky flower beds and rugged coastlines. They produce a beautiful little deep magenta coloured flower.
Bottling up your favourite succulents also makes an inexpensive and thoughtful gift, and is a great way to recycle those left over liquor bottles (especially If you happen to have a penchant for tequila like us at the MARR-KETT head office).
THE ALMOST DEAD – CACTI
The almost dead. You can mostly ignore these kids, they have their own internal thing going on, and with small root systems they can be (almost) entirely neglected. In fact less attention is better than too much in this case. Cacti can easily be overwatered and become water logged.
Little tip, try placing a few ice cubes on top of the soil rather than watering directly or use a fine mist all over the cacti. This way they get some gentle hydration and avoid being hit by the flowing rivers of Babylon!
Cacti bring that certain desert vibe to your space and can be rather sculptural in the right surrounds. Ranging from the teeny tiny to the “taller than a house” massive, there are a huge array of cacti out there and if you include succulents in to the mix (almost as easy to look after) you’ll have a near endless array to choose from.
THE DEFINITELY DEAD (well.. never living for that matter) – FAUX PLANTS
These are a great option for the everlasting effect without the pain of slow growing or the dread of death. They provide the instant satisfaction that is so often craved in today’s society, and we for one are 100% guilty of this.
Faux plants give you the security, that with a little upfront investment, you’ll have no need to replace, water or even supply sunlight to these suckers. If your green thumb isn’t as green as you thought, you have to travel regularly or have a holiday home/rental. Then two months or two years down the line they’ll still be going strong.
And for the record, times have changed people, these things are far from the days of the faded neon flowers that your nan had sitting in a china vase on a doiley in the middle of the dining table. The good fakes now look beautiful, realistic and are an art in their own right. With plants now such an important part of interior design and with low maintenance options available there’s no need to bow your heads in shame, let them own their space.
Quick tip….for those fakes that don’t come complete with pot, place them in your chosen vessel and fill over with pebbles. It creates some weight, stability and covers up the obvious plastic base.
Whatever your desired outcome, whether it be to help improve your general environment or just pretty up your surround, add some “zen" and appease your mind, I hope we’ve had some helpful tips and ideas.