Jungle Fever Part 2


Okay, I admit it, it's been rather a lot longer than a week since I promised this second part of my Jungle Fever post. I blame life. And the children, and very few opportunities to take nice photographs of my plants. Or maybe my idea of 'next week' is different to yours, but here it is, finally...



I love the way the Kentia Palm instantly gives a room a tropical feel. These palms have a reputation of being the easiest indoor palm, tolerating low light and dry air. Oh, and see that chair? My husband has been trying to throw it out for years. It's become a 'hilarious' running joke. I bought it for £10 from a shop that was closing down and it has a strange textured coating on it, and one day I will get it dipped to remove said strange textured coating, and give it the makeover it deserves, and I will not let him sit on it for being so cruel. That will show him, won't it?

Botanical Name: Howea forsteriana
How much: £40
How tall: 120cms
Where from: Online from House of Plants
Care: Easy. I've just repotted mine and moved it to a shadier spot. I water it once a week and it looks healthy and has some new growth, so I think I'm doing something right.
Where: In a shady spot in the dining room.
Receptacle: An Ikea basket. Again.





My Bengal Fig is a bit Jack and The Beanstalkish. It has grown probably 40cms since I bought it back in November, and is not showing any sign of slowing. It's tall and thin, though some of the lower leaves are starting to get quite big now, which I hope will continue, so that it fattens up a little and doesn't get too top-heavy. I've recently re-potted it and it's now a really substantial plant.

Botanical Name: Ficus benghalensis
How much: £15
How big: 140cms
Where from: Online from House of Plants
Care: Easy! It doesn't need much water, so I only give it a little every week or so, and it can happily take a bit of shade. I do wonder if it's 'stretching' a bit, which would be a sign that's it's not getting enough light. Plant pros, feel free to weigh in...
Where: I've just moved it to my bedroom which is bright (south facing), but it's not near the window and I think it will be the perfect spot for it.
Receptacle: Another basket from H&M. Incidentally, I was in there the other day and they have a lovely new basket with a bright pink stripe that would be perfect for the plant I've just ordered online. Oh dear, help me I'm a plant addict!!



Back when I did my original plants you MUST have post, I got my ZZ's confused with my Zamia's (easily done with all those Z's). I must update that. Turns out they are different plants that look kind of similar - both beautiful, but mine is a ZZ plant, or Zanzibar Gem as they are also known. I'd still like a Zamia too, which I think has a bit of a Bonsai look about it (stumpier) with fuzzy leaves, unlike the ZZ which has very glossy waxy looking leaves.

Just don't let the lovely leaves of your ZZ hang over a lamp like I did and then wonder why they look singed. Oops.

Botanical Name: Zamioculcas Zamiifolia
How much: £25
How big: 80cms
Where from: Angel Flowers in Islington again, but these are pretty easy to find, and I've seen them at Colombia Road Flower Market for £15. You may even find one of these at Ikea if you're lucky.
Care: Very low maintenance - I water this maybe once a fortnight or even less. It's doing really well and it has several new shoots growing. I don't know if I should re-pot it because it seems so happy, but it's quite a tight fit in it's container.
Where: It lives in the living room in the darkest corner which it seems to love. They don't like full on sun.
Receptacle: I got the basket in Formentera last summer. I had to carry it home in my handbag so it didn't get squashed, and was quite prepared to wear it as a hat if push came to shove. Yes, I love it. Lots.

So that's it for now on the plant front. I really do recommend any of these as easy to keep alive and looking good, for people that would like to have indoor plants but worry about killing them. It's really not that hard if you consider the position and watering requirements. If I can do it, so can you. Honest!

Tropica Collection...by me

My new collection of cushions and napkins has just launched. Hooray! The collection, called 'Tropica', has been a long time coming, and I'm particularly proud of it. It's a bit of a departure from anything I've done before - more grown up I guess. I've always designed for me first, as I just can't bring myself to release any products that I wouldn't personally want to have in my own home, so as my tastes continue to evolve, my designs do too. 
Photography & Styling Carole Poirot
The four patterns in this collection started as delicate paper-cuts. Several months ago, I was telling my daughter about the incredible traditional textiles of Hawaii, Mexico and Panama. In particular, the very beautiful Hawaiian Quilts that were on the beds of the Moana Surfrider Hotel on Waikiki Beach that we stayed in when she was very little. We decided to have a play around with some paper-cuts, to come up with some of our own patterns - the kind where you fold a piece of paper into quarters, leave the folded sides intact, cutting a pattern into the outer edges, then reveal a lovely geometric design when you unfold it. I was surprised when our quick little experiments turned out so beautifully - that something so simple could be so striking. I found myself doing more and more in the following weeks, and the idea for my next collection was born. I knew that I wanted the patterns to feel contemporary and fresh, so I started playing around with repeats digitally once I'd scanned them, and then they really came to life.
Photography & Styling Bianca Hall
I love that 'Ipanema' (above) looks lattice-like, though if you look closely you might see a palm tree or two. And a pineapple motif found it's way into my 'Maui' pattern (top and middle cushions in the image below). The 'Bahia' print has a tribal feel to it (the charcoal cushion and lampshade in the first image), whilst 'Panama' has an air of luxury about it (bottom cushion in image below).
Photography & Styling Carole Poirot
The cushions are all available in the shop now, and the napkins will be available soon...
Photography & Styling Carole Poirot 
Photography & Styling Carole Poirot
Photography & Styling Carole Poirot
I'd love to know what you think. What's your favourite pattern? Enjoy the rest of the weekend. I'll be doing some more house painting tomorrow. You know, just for a change...