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Confessions of a Houseplant Addict...



Hello, my name is Catherine and I am addicted to Houseplants.


It started small. A few Ideal Home and House Renovation articles started planting the seed. Then those clever people at Pinterest and Instagram soon caught on to the fact I was about to launch my mission to update our family home (one avocado suite at a time.) In came the visual tide of Scandi Boho scatter cushions and shabby chic furniture, dangly filament light bulbs and Aztec throws. I had been so excited to get enough of the hard (boring) work done so I could get to the best bit: the finishing touches.


The plasterers came and went, the plumber did his thing and the electrician worked miracles with the ancient light fittings. It came time for the moment I had been waiting for so I could embrace my best Lawrence Llewellen Bowen. But no matter what I did, my vision was just falling short of my social media idols. That is until one day, when my friend gifted me a Dracaena.

Now Dear Reader, you mustn’t laugh. I am aware that as a manager of our third generational family garden centre, I should be an authority on all things green, but up to this point my work day had revolved around the Giftware and Outdoor departments. I was a Houseplant novice. Now before I knew it, this Dracaena became the star of many an Instagram campaign. Boring book-shelf? Add a Dracaena. Dull dresser? Add a Dracaena. New paint colour for a display wall?... you guessed it, add a Dracaena. And of course, the inevitable happened: one Dracaena became two, and then I entered my Sansevieria stage, and then we had a particularly stunning batch of succulents arrive from our friends in Holland. It was all getting rather crowded on my mantle-piece so it was time to get some floating shelves on the case in the bathrooms, kitchen, bedrooms… basically all the rooms, so that our trailing spider plants fresh from the greenhouse could flourish in style and harmony.


But enough about me! Now for the science…

Houseplants are the fastest growing sector of the UK plant market and have infiltrated Interior Design trends across the world.

Psychologists speculate that while as a nation we are starting families later in life until we can afford homes of our own, millennials are seeking something to nurture that allow them to both work full time and go on holiday at the drop of a hat. Vogue has coined this ‘Plant Parenting,’ and describes the affordable anxiety-reducing rewards associated with raising your own little houseplant family. The last year in particular has indelibly changed our awareness of the physical and mental difficulties inherent in being cooped up inside four walls and we have found that the addition of a living thing, be it a pet or a plant, has provided us with a healthy focal point in which to distract from and relieve anxiety triggers. Bringing the living world inside for those unable to claim their own gardens or patio areas has been invaluable to many of the urban population and plants also have the added benefit of purifying the air we breathe. What’s not to love?


Despite what all those trendy young city dwellers might claim, houseplant addiction is by no means a new phenomenon. Our Victorian ancestors were fascinated by them and there was a particularly iconic surge in the 70’s (think cheese plants and Schefflera next to orange and brown upholstery.) The latest spike (don’t even get me start on all the adorable miniature cacti available to buy!) has seen a 500% increase in some online retail houseplant sales over the past 2 years, proving that this is more than just another ‘TikTok craze,’ and has real staying power as a garden centre department to be reckoned with. It also represent a key enabler to my other new addiction: Houseplant pots! But that is for another day…


All in all, I may be a Houseplant addict but I am by no means a closet one. I am embracing the aesthetic, health and affordable benefits they bring to my home and now my work life as Richard has succumbed to my pleas to take over the weekly ordering! While I am not yet an expert, I can’t wait to meet any of you out there who may already be a fellow addict or are looking for a healthy and rewarding hobby to bring more joy and oxygen to this crazy thing called life. So stop by and say “Hi” if you can, I’ll probably be the one buying Houseplants…





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