Greening up Our Gaff at Columbia Road

Until this time last year, Ed and I had always been pretty terrible with house plants, to the point where I managed to kill 12 succulents and two aloe vera plants in the period of about four months! To be fair we never had much of a method and just tried our luck, haphazardly watering them and not paying much attention to where we placed them around the house.

However, this time last year we bought a big Boston fern and a trailing succulent, commonly known as sedum burrito, to hang in our kitchen. As they were already quite established and a bit more pricey than the small succulents we had previously purchased, we closely followed the care instructions and watered them regularly. Not surprisingly with just a little bit of care and the bright light of our kitchen, they thrived.

Hanging plants, crittal windows and falcon chair

The hanging plants in our kitchen just after we bought them

Keen to give succulents another go, Ed bought home three larger varieties and this time rather than just trying our luck, he did some research on the best way to look after them; reading a few articles and experimenting with different watering methods and just like the other plants they thrived.

So we have slowly been expanding our collection, with the addition of a Chinese money plant for the guest bedroom and a Crassula Hobbit for the kitchen, both from one of my favourite plant shops – The Fresh Flower Company in East Dulwich and a Rhipsalis Pilocarpa from our local garden centre, which is thriving in the partial sun of our bedroom.

Crassula Hobbit Plant (Image courtesy of The Fresh Flower Company via The House at the Junction)

Crassula Hobbit Plant (Image courtesy of The Fresh Flower Company)

A sneak peak of the pictures in the bedroom

Rhipsalis Pilocarpa in our bedroom

Spurred by Ed’s green fingered dedication and success, I have been scouting spots in our house to add a few more plants and with this in mind decided to take a little trip to Columbia Road Market this morning. Columbia Road is a beautiful little street in Bethnal Green with lots of independent shops and cafes, which is transformed every Sunday morning, as hordes of locals and tourists descend on the street from 8am to purchase and browse an array of flowers and plants. It is much busier and a completely different experience to New Covent Garden (which I wrote about briefly in my post on the Introduction to Floristry course I took at Jam Jar flowers) and whilst the prices aren’t as cheap, you can buy small quantities and individual plants, which is exactly what we needed rather than a whole trays of plants.

Selection of succulents at Columbia Road Flower Market

Selection of succulents at Columbia Road Flower Market

After shuffling amongst the crowds we decided to purchase a small Monstera, commonly known as a Swiss Cheese plant for £10, which we are going to put in our en-suite bathroom, as they enjoy humid environments. A tall 3 stemmed Dracanea or Dragon fern for £20 to sit on the other side of our kitchen from the hanging plants and add a bit of low-level greenery and interest to that side of the room, plus some more large succulents to dot around the house – they were 3 for £10 and you can never have too many!

Monstera plant (Image courtesy of The Fresh Flower Company via The House at the Junction)

Monstera plant (Image courtesy of The Fresh Flower Company)

While we were there I also picked up some stems of pussy willow and some more eucalyptus to add a bit of greenery to  the living room – it is north-west facing so plants don’t do particularly well in there in the winter, whereas eucalyptus seems to last for a couple of months in there in water and the pussy willow should dry out beautifully and provide some height on the mantle piece.

So now we have some new plants, I need to go shopping for a few pots… and am most definitely channeling a monochrome vibe, so watch this space…



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