Living With Plants Bookazine
Our love of houseplants has deep roots. History has recorded that the ancient Greeks filled their villas with violets in terracotta tubs, while the Romans preferred blowsy roses in marble urns. The Chinese grew miniature trees in dishes. The Pharaohs soothed sunburn with aloe vera. Medieval books show monks spending hours hunched over pots of herbs, tending ingredients for salves and cures. A few centuries later, explorers like Columbus brought back dazzling new species from the Americas and plant fever raged orangeries sprang up across Europe as botany boomed. From the glittering glass palace of Kew through a million Victorian parlours, indoor plants colonised our homes and hearts. Succulents and cacti turned the grey-glassed offices of the 20th century green, and by the ebullient '70s, rubber plants and Swiss cheese plants thrived in every home, civic space and Columbo movie. Clearly, our passion for indoor plants has never waned. And now it's blooming again. Why? Turns out all those interiors magazines showing gorgeous botanical prints on wallpaper, curtains and cushions were trying to tell us something about the real living things. Recent surveys show that houseplant sales are booming a trend largely driven by city-dwellers, millennials, hipsters and renters. Studies also reveal that although the biggest reason for buying is home styling and decoration, it's closely followed by people who want to improve their home's air quality and their personal wellbeing. Instagram is jungle-lush with the trailing, the spiky and the fronded, and houseplant-themed retweets run daily into the thousands.