Ahoy from Los Angeles! Yes, I made the move west (I'll write the blog post on why at some point as I know many of you have asked me to fill ya in) and I hate to break it to my New York besties, but...it's pretty nice here.
Alas, that's not the point of today's diary entry. Nope, today it's all about that GREEN. No, not the money, honey - I'm talking plant life, cuties. I started bringing plants galore into my homes back east just for a taste of some nature and the result was a happier home in many aspects.
Now that I'm settling in here in Los Angeles, the same mindset applies. Though I have a beautiful garden (that I'm writing this piece in now actually) it's still remarkably soothing to the eye to have greenery from Mother Nature surrounding you at all times. What hits the eye then transfers to the soul, and when you're feeling good from the inside out, you're probably looking good too. Let's not count out the actual oxygen being released from these beauties as well; your skin may actually benefit from having an abundance of plants in your home!
My strategy this time around was simple yet specific, as it's the third or fourth time I've gone down this road by now. I wanted plants that were
- reasonably priced (no $300 trees this time around),
- unique enough that my neighbor and best friend won't also have them,
- easy to keep alive,
- and looked nice with really interesting pot holders (I mostly went with affordable baskets).
With that in mind I headed over to Rolling Green in Culver City - definitely not the cheapest joint in town, but a place with truly beautiful plants, deals to be found, and a fabulous selection (they deliver too which is nice).
A quick note about fiddle-leaf figs before you meet my new plants - if you're heading out the door to make a purchase right now I'd pass on this lovely tree. Yes, they're nice to look at, if you can keep it alive. If you can't, you've dropped $250 minimum on a super trendy tree that's on it's 14th minute of fame. Pick something unique that you love, and skip this fussy green. Just my humble opinion as the previous owner of a fiddle leaf I left back in New York City.
Now, it's time for introductions...
Hello, gorgeous! What a special plant this clusia is, no? The leaves feel rubbery, the color is a miraculous green, and it fills space so nicely. It's also unexpected - there were only a few and I was happy to snag one. To keep your clusia happy, it wants a lot of direct light, regular watering, and warm indoor temperatures. It may even flower!
The Ficus Benghalensis
At $165, this beautiful, big ficus tree is my favorite for my new home. It's living in my bedroom in a sunny corner, just waiting to be loved every morning. I love how spread out this tree is; it feels sexy, like you want to gaze at it for a few minutes every once in a while. The leaves are a wonderfully elegant pale green color, and it's a fig tree that's not very well known (exactly what I wanted). It likes bright, indirect sunlight or bright shade, regular water and misting, and average to warm temperatures. If the leaves start to fall off, you're probably overwatering it!
Is Festuca gorgina or WHAT!? I picked up two festuca plants, not just because of the price, but because of how fun and deliberately different they are. They run a cool bluish shade of green gray (does that even make sense?) and are essentially a grassy shrub. It's typically an outdoor plant, but I've heard this one can make the leap indoors with enough care so I've giving it a try. They want sunlight and water. If they die, I'll pick something else and keep you updated. For now, I'm obsessed with them.
I planted this little baby myself in this fun black and neutral basket with a bit of light colored reindeer moss. I think it came out rather nice, and I keep getting compliments on it from friends that come through. It needs sunlight and a bit of watering now and then. That's it!
Last but not least, I picked up this fun succulent to sit on my kitchen counter and keep me entertained while I deep-fry doughnuts or whatever else I may be whipping up. Succulents are hard to kill, people. They mostly just need sunlight and some water every once in a while. If you travel a lot or forget to water your plants, this one is right up your alley.
Now that I've gotten most of my indoor plants taken care of, I can't wait to tackle my garden. There is already a fab tangerine tree that's fully matured and gives off the tastiest fruit (it also comes with my new pet squirrel, Pam, that hovers over it all day long) along with beautiful flowering plants and shrubs. I absolutely see a herb and veggie garden in my future out there. Getting in touch with nature is perhaps the best way to truly feel like a human, connected to the earth, disconnected from our devices. Give it a try - you'll love the way you look and feel after you spend some QT with some greenery!