Wild At Home from our City and Country Summer Edition
Roses are red, violets are blue, but what about all the wonderful greens? It’s always been the colour — as much as the shape — of foliage that has attracted me. From the deep, stark greens of Ficus lyrata (fiddle-leaf fig) to the burgundy that penetrates the new growth of Philodendron ‘Rojo Congo’, there is a wide variety of greenery that can turn a simple space into a lush oasis.
Have you ever seen a variegated monstera? The way in which the green and white come together like a piece of marble cake is perfection. It’s these small nuances that can make a home vibrate — and you with it. For instance, if you look more closely at a specimen of Ficus elastica (rubber plant) and examine its lines properly, you’ll notice that the leaves have a thin, vibrant red stroke, which, when seen at the right moment and in the right light, can look neon.
The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” is clearly true in the case of the rubber plant. Judge if you wish, but you’ll likely come to the same conclusion — “Wow.”
For me, the beauty that exists in plants from a visual perspective is just the first reason why I bring them into my home. The fact that they can transform a living space immediately is the next.
An indoor jungle embodies all the wild uniqueness of a real outdoor jungle. Strelitzia reginae (bird of paradise), for example, can grow to a height of about 20 feet (6m) in a space where the light is right, and the resulting vibe of the space is then basically dictated by the powerful presence of that plant. Greenery sets the tone. But I think what makes all the time and stress that goes into caring for this sort of vibe worthwhile is how wonderful it makes you feel.
Have you ever been trapped indoors, for whatever reason, then stepped outside and experienced that moment when the first blast of fresh air hits the back of your nostrils? Well, that feeling can be replicated almost daily at home if you have plants.
It is certainly the green in my home that I thank for calming me down when life’s weight wants to sit on my shoulders. It’s in my indoor jungle that I find escape and shelter. Because, regardless of what the weather is doing outside, the greenery indoors makes my wife and me feel as if we’re sitting below a tree canopy in the tropics.
In short, I’ve seen my love for plants grow, from that very first moment when the seed of my passion for greenery was sown to its blossoming in the present day. My love for greenery has continued to bloom and also connected me with a like-minded community across the globe in so many interesting ways. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.
Wild at Home by Hilton Carter, published by CICO Books. Photography ©Hilton Carter.