When I received this month’s Urban jungle bloggers theme I couldn’t have been happier. Even though Urban Jungle bloggers is all about green and growing plants, this month’s edition is very special. For the first time, all Urban Jungle Bloggers are asked to style up their home with plants and flowers. I always have flowers somewhere in my home, so this is right up my alley.
I love plants and flowers, but I think I like flowers more than plants. Our garden is green, very green. We live in a neighbourhood with lots of trees. We have three large oak trees in our garden and a large Taxus. Our garden is mostly shaded and is filled with plants that do well in the shade: rhododendrons, hydrangeas, hostas, ferns, ivy, periwinkle, and moss in our lawn. Even though all of these plants are beautiful, I am slowly bringing in more flowering plants because I am missing colour in the garden. I want my garden to be beautiful in all seasons. It may not be possible to have flowers all year long. It is possible for a garden to look just as appealing in autumn and winter by adding evergreen plants with interesting foliage, like heuchera and plants that look good after flowering, like garden designer Piet Oudolf recommends.
My houseplants are mostly low maintenance, hard to kill plants like the fern, peace lily, yucca and succulents. Succulents and cacti have been trending for years and have even become a popular choice for wedding bouquets. They are all over Instagram. I must admit that I too am guilty of posting the occasional succulent photo on Instagram. They are so cute! Though word has it that succulents are out of fashion. Ferns may be the new succulents, you can see my fern in my previous Urban Jungle blog post. The air plant, Tillandsia, is very hip. It doesn’t need soil and is perfect in a plant hanger or vertical garden (very trendy as well). The large-leaved houseplants that were so popular in the 1970’s are making a comeback. As a child of the 70’s I remember our living room resembling a true jungle, with a Ficus Benjamina touching the ceiling. And do you remember the spider plant with its baby spiders hanging down? I’m sure I had one in my bedroom.
Isn’t it funny that apparently even plants come in or out of fashion? It’s all part of the green living trend. Gardening is cool again, at least here in the Netherlands, with young people growing their own food in gardens, on balconies and rooftops. Does it have something to do with the fact that more people than ever are living in cities?
The green trend is all about living as close as possible to nature, without having to move to the countryside. Bringing the outdoors in is partly just home decor, think botanical wallpaper, botanical prints, framed leaves. Another beautiful example is the terrarium, a miniature garden inside a glass container. Much seen on Instagram as well. I love it, but I think it’s more of a design object than a green choice. You can buy terrariums complete with plants, no need for a green thumb. I am sure that by the time the plants have died, the trend will be over.
I love everything about the green trend, except for growing my own vegetables. I do grow my own flowers though and these are featured in this Urban Jungle blog post together with my little succulent. Sorry succulent, you are out of fashion.
When you buy a bunch of flowers in the shop or at the market all the stems are similar in length and all the flowers are similar in size. Of course, when you pick flowers from your garden you don’t get to choose. I cut all dahlias that are open or nearly open. Some blooms are larger than others, some stems are longer than others, even on the same plant. At the end of the season it seems stems are getting shorter and floppier.
The dahlias may outshine the succulent just a little, I promise to focus on green things next time. As you can see, I have been experimenting with photographing against a bright window. I’m not really happy with the result. Next time, I’ll use the flash. To be continued!
Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series hosted by Igor Josifovic of Happy Interior Blog and Judith de Graaff of JOELIX.com. Every month they and many other bloggers from around the world share ideas to create an urban jungle through styling ideas, DIYs, and green tips & tricks. If you want to join in, find out how on their website. You can also join via Instagram, by tagging your pictures with #urbanjunglebloggers.