During the MAKEMORE festival, Obby partner, Botanical Boys will take you through the step-by-step how to of building a garden in an enclosed jar that requires very little care.
What was the inspiration behind starting Botanical Boys?
We loved the way how people reacted to our terrariums when we first made a few as a hobby back in summer 2011. So we began making them for friends and work colleagues over the years. Botanical Boys was later born in 2016 helping people find happiness and wellness trough terrarium design. The terrarium is a self-sustaining eco-system which means the plants require very little care.
Where did your love for plants begin?
We fell in love with gardening when we moved to a basement flat in London Fields in 2010 which came with an 85 foot long Italian and Japanese inspired garden. We had no gardening experience at all. The garden had been left to grow out of control since the previous owner retired and sold off the house bit by bit. The garden had sold the flat for us and it was the first room we got stuck into. A few months later, we were asked to join the National Garden Scheme (NGS) and we have since opened the garden twice yearly for paying visitors to come and drink tea and critique the garden. We liked gardening so much that we decided to try our hand at terrarium gardening in 2011 for fun after seeing them on a trip to South Africa.
How can plants enrich our lives?
Plants help to detoxify the air around us and provide fresh oxygen which in turn makes us feel good and be healthy. They also protect us from the sun by providing natural shady spots in our gardens and homes.
Plants are critical for a healthy diet, such as fibrous fruits and other plant sources contributing to our health. They also make you feel good as you walk and sit amongst them, after all without them, we would not survive!
If there was one plant that best described Botanical Boys what would it be and why?
Ohh there are many plants we love that helped us to start Botanical Boys, but some of our favourites are Protea, as they remind us of the amazing flora in South Africa. When they are cut flowers they dry out later on but so beautifully, losing some colour but keep their amazing structure.
We also love ferns, using them to green up our studio space to make it feel like you are walking in one big terrarium forest.
One of our favourites is Avocado (Persea Americana). We always grow trees for the house from the seeds of an avocado. When people come to our workshops, they are always amazed to see this and we show you how to do it!
We love growing succulents such as the beautiful “String of Hearts” (Ceropegia Wodii), they have the most cute little flowers this time of year.
We also love our Banana Tree, growing inside the Tower Room of our studio. It keeps growing new lime green leaves, so beautiful. We hope it will reach the ceiling at more than 20 feet high.
Any advice for accidental plant killers?
Read the labels and do some basic google researches before you buy something if you are unfamiliar with a species.
Watering is important and regular plant feed to keep the nutrients in the soil, especially for potted plants. If you can collect rain water, this is even better as it has the nutrients required for plants naturally. Tap water has been engineered to give us nice strong teeth, but it is not the best for plants. You can still use tap water, but add feed from time to time. Your plants will love you more if you give them rain water.
We take our plants out for a good soaking in the rain once a month, they love it!!! Also, regularly forking the soil in pots turning the soil every few months helps stop it from going hard and preventing water from draining to the roots. Unlike plants in the ground that have earth worms to help turn over the soil, house plants need a helping hand.
We would also recommend, every spring turning over your soil, just take out a handful of the top layer from your pots, inside and outside your home, and replace with fresh potting mix, forking it into the pot. This adds vital nitrogen to the soil. Choose soil that suits the plants needs, always read the labels as there are acid loving plants such as Rhododendrons and Azaleas that need free draining soil with a medium to high PH level of soil.
What will you are offering at MAKEMORE?
Botanical Boys are putting on a terrarium design workshop on a first come first served basis. You will learn the history of terrariums and have a chance at building one for you to take home. Botanical Boys will take you through the step-by-step on how to build a garden in an enclosed jar that requires very little care…all it needs is LOVE!
Website – botanicalboys.com
Instagram – instagram.com/botanicalboys