I receive a lot of questions about the plants we have at the cottage-- are they real? Are they toxic? How long do they take to grow? How much care do they require?
I am by no means a plant expert-- faaar from it. I look to Hilton Carter if I need help with my houseplants, and I am inspired by the creative ways that my friend Justina Blakeney of The Jungalow decorates with her plants. But I can certainly share what has worked for us here in our tiny home-office. While we have a wide variety of indoor and outdoor greenery, we routinely decorate with these three particular plants:
Algerian Ivy - I love this variegated vine, which drapes beautifully in hanging pots/baskets, and can also be used for ground cover. The mid-toned green and pale yellow help show off the texture and shape of the leaves, while the brown/red stalks contrast beautifully with the rest of the plant. Algerian Ivy can tolerate a decent amount of sun, but continues to thrive in times of lower light exposure. I usually display this ivy on shelves because it takes up a fair amount of space, allowing me to fill a room with warmth without cluttering it up with miscellaneous tchotchkes.
Silver Philodendron - Silver Philodendron is one of my favorite plants. In fact, it was one of the main visual inspirations for our home-wedding. This house plant grows rapidly, and has interestingly speckled grey-green leaves. In my experience, the vines will get sparse up top if the soil isn’t healthy and if the pot doesn’t drain well, so don’t forget to give these plants a bit of tending-to each week. My favorite spot to place these plants is on hidden/floating bookshelves on our living room walls. It is toxic to pets and people when ingested, so we simply keep ours high up out of the reach of all our little ones.
Vinca Vine - Vinca is one of my absolute favorites, because it grows incredibly long, and yet it barely sheds. This plant is simple and understated without being boring. It cascades and frames beautifully, adding depth and color wherever needed. My favorite place to hang them is near windows and outdoor corners, where the greenery livens up several feet of bare walls or moldings without consuming space. I’ve found that Vinca Vines require a touch of extra care in the winter, so I personally don’t leave them out in the cold. (Even here in SoCal they prefer to be indoors during the cooler months.) In the warmer season, they enjoy a few hours of sun, or regular dappled light-- nothing too harsh Cutting the vines back around Spring is a great way to spark new, healthy growth. (And don’t worry— they grow back in a blink.)