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4.9.17

Desperately Seeking Succulents


"It's not easy being green "- to quote Kermit the Frog's song of froggy woes, and I have proven that true, time and time again over the years. Lord knows how many basil plants I've sentenced to the organic recycling in my time. 

Indoor plants have become a 'growing' trend over the last year or so, and as always Instagram and Pinterest have become plentiful with plant-filled homes, that really inspired me to dip my toe back into the compost - so to speak. But my worry was, would the usual botanical botch ups ensue?


Mojito anyone? (Image: kendracastillo.com)
It usually started with the weekly shop, debating whether or not to get dried herbs, or packets of freshly chopped ones. I'd have this Kirstie Allsop make-it-yourself moment and convince myself that "it would be far more sensible to start my own fabulously chic fresh herb sill than buy packet ones" so I would skip out of the supermarket, with my lush little plants in tow, with visions of myself happily muddling mojitos with my marvellous home grown mint, and serving up yummy curries infused with my carefully nurtured coriander. 

Only in reality, problems would arise when said lush herb plants became quite lacklustre, then limp, then lifeless, and then it was back to the jars of good old Scwhartz.

Another dream window sill herb garden (Image: Via Pinterest)

So, desperately wanting to fill that verdant void, and overcome my failed attempts at previous plant parenting, I decided the best options for me would be the hardier less attention-seeking cacti and succulents and the odd ivy or two for good measure. I soon found some great starter plants in IKEA, B&Q, Lidl, and Aldi to help create my dream green scene. 

One of my first succulent plants bought from Lidl
I was determined to get these guys to stay alive and thrive. By googling each type and figuring out when to water, and not to water, my little collection started to blossom - well despite a few horticultural hurdles here and there. A year on, I'm delighted with how much they have grown.


My pride and joy is my rescue calathea from IKEA. This flamboyant fellow had a few broken leaves when I first picked him up, and I figured he wouldn't be any worse off with me, than on the rejects list at Bargain Corner. After a few touch and go moments figuring out how best to care for him, he's now a happy chappy perched on my sideboard. 

Calathea plant from IKEA
Since my calathea seemed to be doing okay, I became a little braver and bought a lush palm tree plant and a couple of yucca plants from IKEA too and now have a gorgeous green vibe starting to happen at one end of my living room.

Palm tree plant, pot and bamboo stool all from IKEA



And, I've 'branched out' to other rooms. This little guy who now resides in our guest room, proves size doesn't matter when it comes to making an impact. He's just taking his own time and is all the more cute for being petite. 


Of course when one has plants, one needs plant holders. I found this cute little painted clay pot for him when I was in London early this year in Anthropologie.  


I have also picked up some gorgeous and very reasonably priced pots in Lidl like the one my calathea sits in (keep an eye out throughout the year for when they are in store) and in IKEA too - their range is fantastic. This little IKEA gold pot was just two Euros and a perfect option for my trailing ivy. 

Gold mini plant pot from IKEA
I also like to display my plants in plant bags like the one below from Best Buds in Belfast (who also deliver) and woven baskets for that touch of boho chic. I have found some gorgeous ones in TK Maxx and via some of my favourite online stores. 

One of my first succulents from Lidl last year in a copper plant bag from Best Buds in Belfast

I love this gold sequined belly basket that I got from Violet and Thistle and I recently spied them
for sale in Avoca too. You need to make sure your plant is sitting in another pot first though!

Yucca plant in gold sequined belly basket from Violet and Thistle
Macrame pot holders for hanging plants have re-emerged from the eighties, and are back adorning homes across Instagram. I got this one from Industry & Co in Dublin for my increasingly long-growing ivy. 


It's also nice to have a chic watering can. I bought this one first in IKEA and recently purchased this other gorgeous gold metal one from H&M for my trailing ivys as the IKEA one tends to over spill a little when trying to water my hanging plants.

Gold metal watering can from H&M
I definitely have a passion for plants now, and have even managed to successfully propagate some baby spider plants with my own little spider nursery, that I then gift to friends and family. I just love the lush vibe that plants have given our home and I want to get even more. These days I find myself veering into my local garden centre to check out the latest cacti and to moon over the massively expensive monsteras. I guess this plant obsession has really taken root.

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