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Flora Euphoria

How to choose, display and care for houseplants to create a botanical garden
paradise in your home.
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The continuing popularity of houseplants and their inclusion in interior design projects far and wide is music to our eyes and ears. There are many benefits to creating interior environments that make us feel more connected to nature; in the industry we call this biophilic design. In addition to adding tactile textures of wood and stone, leafy plants and greenery are an easy way to bring the life and energy of the outdoors inside.

Feeling close to nature is more important than ever in difficult times, it helps us feel grounded, calm and motivated. So here’s our guide to making your home biophilic bliss...

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From left: Morvah Ceiling Hanging Planter, Mawnan Planter, Morvah Small Ceiling Hanging Planter, Merryn Floor Standing Planter Short.

PRACTICALITY & PERFECT PLACEMENT

Plants come with intriguing stories and connections to interiors of the past. Ferns were the centre of a collecting craze in the mid 19th century when botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward introduced the idea of growing things in small glass terrariums, and the Cast Iron Plant got its name from having an iron-clad constitution, flourishing even when sooty Victorian gas-lights were a thing.

With so many plant varieties now on the market it's easy to be seduced by exotic species, but for low maintenance and maximum enjoyment, it’s best to keep practicality in mind and choose the right plants for your home.

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Fragrant basil thrives in our Morvah Wall Hanging Planter, calling for a partnership with ripe tomatoes and creamy mozzarella - gosh, we’re looking forward to those long summer lunches.

Herbs do best outside, but a few small pots positioned in a sunny spot within easy reach of your kitchen worktop will be pretty easy to maintain and it’s such a treat to have fresh herbs to hand for your favourite drinks and recipes - is it too early for Pimm’s? The smell of freshly picked mint, rosemary and basil is just divine!

Basil doesn’t have a long life expectancy indoors (especially the overcrowded supermarket pots that are designed to only last 1-2 weeks) however, you can extend the life of your basil by thinning out the stems so that they have space to grow and ensuring plenty of sunlight.

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Our Merryn Floor Standing Planter Tall elevates a parlour palm to create a real statement in this rustic bathroom setting.

Lots of plant varieties love the steamy, humid environment of a bathroom which makes caring for them much easier. Perfect if you’re time poor or just starting out on your plant collecting journey.

• Sansevieria Trifisciata - Mother-in-Law's Tongue. Vertical leaves with a distinctive twist - we do love a sculptural curve at Tom Raffield HQ! Well-equipped for long periods of drought and regular neglect and accepts most light levels.

•Oxalis Triangularis - False Shamrock. Wonderful purple, triangular shaped leaves that fold up at night and open towards the sun (Nyctinastic Movements), so lovely to watch. Just keep the soil evenly moist with a bright, indirect location.

• Aspidistra - Cast Iron Plant. An evergreen perennial plant with glossy dark green leaves that’s been popular since the 1800’s, and with good reason - it’ll grow even in the darkest spaces. Just water little and often and dust the leaves occasionally.

Some plants can be toxic to pets and children, so this can also be something to consider when making your selection.

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Leafy succulents (displayed here in our Mawnan Planters) are perfect plants for first-time gardeners as they are low maintenance, easy to propagate and suited to most spaces. They are best placed on a windowsill, or in a sunny corner where they can catch the most of the sun's rays.

EVERYBODY LOVES THE SUNSHINE


Well, perhaps not direct sun! Every plant has a preferred light level, so think about how light comes into your space through the day - a spot that’s bright, but doesn’t get too much direct sunlight, is usually a winner. Most plants also do best away from drafts and heat sources like radiators or fireplaces.

Once you’ve identified the most botanical-friendly parts of your space and chosen a few plants to suit these conditions, you’re ready to pot and arrange them.

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Our Morvah Ceiling Hanging Planters show off the long, trailing locks of this 'String of Pearls' succulent beautifully. Summon nature inside and transform space with our Green Range.
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A detail of our show-stopping Merryn Floor Standing Planter Tall handmade with lengths of twisting steam bent oak that stand together to support a large earthenware bowl.

Match up each plant with a ceramic planter that is not too much bigger and suits your leafy friend’s unique style. Generally, we like to pair trailing, cascading fronds with hanging planters and taller, sculptural stems with floor standing planter designs. There are no fixed rules though, it’s up to you! If you’d like a few more tips, have a quick read of our Which Planter guide.

For good drainage, it’s best to leave plants in their holey nursery pots and gently drop them in, making sure the ceramic planter is tall enough to conceal the plastic rim (visually important for us perfectionists). If you’d like to remove the plastic pot, or you’re putting a few succulents or herbs together in the same planter, we recommend adding a nice layer of stones to the bottom of your planter to help with efficient drainage and you’ll need to be careful not to over water.

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The Green Range in all its glory, bathed in morning light.

LOCATION, LOCATION...

Rather than dotting things evenly around a room, a cluster of richly diverse plants, displayed at different heights, can make the most impact and an impressive statement. Plants also prefer to be grouped together - believe it or not, they can sense and communicate with each other. Consider using books, side tables, stools and shelves to help build an interesting mix of heights and create your botanical haven.

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Our Stuggy Side Table is made from sustainably sourced oak and will add interest to your display with its masterful twisted crisscross centre.
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The Stuggy Side Table would make for a a helpful addition for raising the level of one or two pots to create a balanced, verdant composition.
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With its curvaceous, twisted steam bent ash lengths and brass details, our Lundy Shelf is hard to resist and makes for a great place to display houseplants.
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Our Tor Twist Shelf has three useful brass-tipped wooden pegs at one end, and you can choose which way round to hang it.
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Multifunctional and portable by design, the Mawnan Planter can be placed on a table-top or hung by its braided rope to display trailing indoor houseplants, which makes it really easy to move things around when the mood takes you.

THE SIMPLE JOY OF ARRANGING

Caring for, and occasionally rearranging, your collection of plants can be incredibly therapeutic - so while you’re watering, feeding and gently dusting try to be present and enjoy the moment. We humans are multi-sensory beings, and the act of touching leaves (like walking barefoot on the grass) helps to reduce anxiety by creating the direct connection with nature that we all need.

In a study conducted by the Royal Horticultural Society, researchers discovered that talking to your plants really can help them grow faster. So it might seem a little eccentric, but why not treat them to a little tune from time to time? Singing is a great way to lift our spirits too.

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We do love the combination of wood grain textures, greenery and the curved, smooth eggshell surface of the slip-cast earthenware vessel on our Morvah Wall Hanging Planter and Morvah Ceiling Hanging Planters.

Yellowing leaves? If you’re ever in doubt about a plant’s health, our advice is to phone a friend or ask at your local garden centre - people are always delighted to share their horticulture tips and knowledge. It’s amazing how plants bounce back from simply tweaking the position, light or frequency of watering and feeding.

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Merryn Floor Standing Planter Short - A unique and eye-catching elliptical floor standing planter that is guaranteed to bring any space to life.

A final note

If you find yourself gazing at your well-positioned, thriving plants - noticing the textures of leaves and shapes of shadows - be assured this is not idle or lazy. Time with nature, daydreaming, is time very well spent and indeed essential space for our minds to germinate our best ideas. Ponder away!

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A fern sits pretty in the Morvah Ceiling Hanging Planter and two easy going air plants (no soil needed, just a regular spritz) nestle up next to our very useful Crib Stool.
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