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A Love Letter to our Houseplants

Posted by Carolina Landolt-Marticorena on


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Song of the week

Hoppípolla - by Sigur Rós - A modern violin track for you and your houseplants.

In 1962, the head of the Botany department at Annamalai University was working on the effects of sounds on plant growth. Dr. T.C. Singh's research resulted in harvests that were from 25-60% higher than average. Experiments were done on many types of plants and had “proven beyond any shadow of doubt that harmonic sound waves affect the growth, flowering, fruiting, and seed-yields of plants”. Initially, he tried classical music, and later he experimented with ragga, flute, violin, harmonica, and veena. Singh discovered that the violin has the biggest impact on plant growth. 

A super sunny & retro room by The Jungalow

A Love Letter to our Houseplants

     Not sure about you, but as much as we love adventures, we’ve spent a little bit more time indoors this winter. Which lead us to thinking a bit more about setting up our home (and home office) for success. While making our way through the stacks of paperwork and unfinished tasks is an obvious first step to more productivity and better enjoyment of our time at home, we also think it’s important to make some improvements just for the aesthetics.

Here’s why we’re so excited about growing our collection of houseplants: not only are they beautiful, with the obvious benefit of making our space way more Instagram friendly; but they’re super functional too. Plants are essentially the opposite of humans - they absorb carbon dioxide, and release oxygen - making them the perfect office companions. NASA has done studies that show houseplants can remove up to 87% of air toxins within 24 hours. Studies have also shown that indoor plants improve productivity and concentration:

“It appears that in part this is because a green office communicates to employees that their employer cares about them and their welfare,” said study author Alex Haslam, a psychology professor at the University of Queensland. “The findings suggest that investing in landscaping an office will pay off through an increase in office workers’ quality of life and productivity.”

Even if you’re self-employed, and maybe ESPECIALLY if you’re self-employed, you should take the time to make your workspace a greener, more enjoyable place, to whatever extent you can. Getting green doesn't necessarily require a wad of cash: a cheap place to start is asking your green-thumb friends for a cutting from one of their overgrown plants; another option is curbside rescue . With spring cleaning season around the corner, this is the time of year that we've found houseplants up for adoption. While they may be ugly ducklings in need of some love, you'll feel super accomplished if you can nurse that plant back into good health. We've had success with a beautiful Tradescantia Pallida that has turned into a monster in the front bay window... and less success with an orchid that we kept alive for awhile, but which died recently during a cold snap as it was next to our thin windows at the office. We won't stop rescuing, though!

Whether or not you have a home office, we think plants should have a place in your living quarters. While there are many lucky Canadians who have backyards and get to grow edible and ornamental gardens, don’t rule it out just because you live in a small space. One big change we’ve made in the last few years is to pick plants over cut flowers. While plants are often less flashy than their exotic cut flower counterparts, they will keep  giving long after that arrangement has been composted. While cut flowers can lighten the mood, potted plants set the tone of a home. Here are some inspiration-worthy instagrams to get you started on dreaming up your own jungle. Read on...



(How on point is this illustration by Jenny Kroik? An instant classic of New Yorker covers from March 2018.)

Houseplant Heros

@TheJungalow - Justina Blakeney is the designer, artist and author of Jungalow - a design studio, blog, and brand that celebrates colour, pattern, and plants. That's her gorgeous photo above, with DIY rattan hat lampshades. We love that Justina throws caution to the wind, combining colours and shapes that create the perfect background for lush greenery and a happy living space. Also, she made that weed leaf pillow on her bed and it's beautiful AF - our kinda gal.

@TheSill - A modern plant destination for the modern plant lover, The Sill sells plant subscriptions where you get a new friend every month! Sadly, the subscription packages are just in the U.S. right now, but take note - we'd be your first customer if you kicked off the idea in the Great White North. The website also has some great tips for plant care 101.  


@BotanyShop5 - More of a delicate and understated style for those who like to keep it clean and modern. Botany is influenced by their super hip location in the heart of London's Hackney neighbourhood, full of artists and poets. Another thing that's cool about Botany is their nose-to-tail (or maybe root-to-leaf!) use of plants with workshops on harvesting flower seed pods; making natural beauty products; photographing plants; and using plant dyes.

Comment ça va?

Quebec, we love you, but you're bringing us down. Yesterday the provincial government tabled legislation proposing that the age of consumption be raised to 21, and to ban consuming in public. Quebec's junior health minister says if it were up to him the age would be 25, while opponents of the bill argue that raising the minimum age will not deter adolescents from experimenting, it would push them to the black market. 

On the other hand, La Belle Provence is vite sur ses patins on placing their pre-order for that sweet sweet 48North outdoor crop. Whatever your feels about outdoor vs. indoor, we appreciate that 48North is taking strides to grow cannabis in more environmentally sound ways.

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Respect the plant

Emma and Carolina

Milkweed website

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