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Outside In: The Green Haze

Words by Milly Burroughs

I grew up on a farm. But I sold my soul to the city aged fifteen. His name was Josh and I could get the train from my house to the shop where he worked in Leeds in roughy 22 minutes. We’d hold hands all day, loitering around the canal, wearing matching skinny jeans. I knew, from the first time I had to say goodbye at the station, that I never wanted to not live in a city.

Nine years later, I live in London. There’s no Josh anymore but there’s still a city. I couldn’t fault fifteen year old me’s life-defining thought process, but I did overlook one thing: Greenery. I have no foliage. I mean there’s Telegraph Hill and Burgess Park, but last time I checked I wasn’t allowed to dig that up and start cultivating my own crops (shame).

Contrary to what my unfathomable ability to kill a pot-plant in 24 hours suggests, I love a bit of shrubbery. There’s been a halterneck-croptop-esque resurgence recently for indoor plants. It’s like a tiny sprout of the 70s just got showered in a glorious haze of fertiliser.

Some of the most city-friendly interpretations have been terrariums, I spotted some particularly glorious examples in the toilets of the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, during the London Design Festival, last September. Hanging pots and vases have also been key figures in the space-saving indoor rain-forests of late. This brings me to the magnificent revival of macrame, the craft scourge of yesteryear that just won’t die. There’s something deliciously hideous about tying a a bunch of rope together to create a dubious net from which to hang your slightly-too-needy spider plant…

With the sudden appearance of the Sun, I’ve been feeling a little green-fingered. So, in the name of all things internet, I’ve not actually done any ‘gardening’, but I have made a list of some of the most handsome purveyors of horticulture I’ve stumbled across online.

London Terrariums

I’ve been following London Terrariums on instagram for a while now. Aside from hanging around SE London almost as much as me, they seem to have a lot going for them. Loads of close ups of moss and gravel have got me fully convinced of their expertise and they even run workshops at local cafés (dead trendy). They’re now even bringing DIY forestry to one of my regular design haunts, Heal’s, on Tottenham Court Road.

Such & Such 

Perfect for people (like me) who have high ceilings, low standards and a slovenly attitude to gardening, the hanging test tube vases from Such & Such are perfect for single stems.

Anthropologie

Forever a favourite, Anthropologie are always capable of rolling out those decorative pieces you never knew you needed until you found yourself thumbing the beautiful ceramic curves, with one hand, and sliding the other over the keypad of the card machine. Their Kerio Window Pots provide beautiful indoor beds for all your urban crop rotations.

IKEA

I’ve spent the last six years listening to design voices scoff at the mention of IKEA, but I love it. Where else can you buy £3 succulents, cacti, plant stands, toilet brushes and hotdogs.

In summary, the moral of the story is this: Learn how to create a lush indoor garden. ff you’re worried you can’t keep a good-looking plant, invest in a beautiful set of planters or vases. And if you can’t do any of the former? Get to IKEA.



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