Welcome to Plant Week: Our guide to all things indoor plants, including tips for beginners, advice on care, and tons of plant-spo.
Spring is here and we are looking towards the light at the end of the COVID tunnel. We have been busy refreshing our beloved Hunker House to once again welcome guests. While we often change out the interior of the space, we have neglected a small outdoor patio and decided to give it the love that it deserves. Our own plant guru, and Creative Director, Paul Anderson, explains the space and plant choices he made to create a small oasis above the busy streets of Venice.
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It's a pretty small space (32 square ft.), off the 3rd floor apartment where our guests stay — and most of the time it's a single person that comes and stays, so I figured we could design this with that in mind — a really great seating space, off the bedroom for morning coffee, or just some sort of mini-break or recharge moment. We furnished it with a wood bench from Article and a small Bend coffee table.
Half of it is south facing, so it gets some intense light on one side. You have to be careful what is placed there, it also has a wall that blocks the east side and provides privacy from the street. The rest of the patio gets indirect light and is very bright which creates a pretty versatile growing space. With that said, it's always good to pay attention to plant placement and how they react in the first few weeks to see how everything settles in—you may need to reposition your plants based on how they are acclimating to their new space.
I decided to go with bold sculptural plants, rather then overwhelm the space with leafy foliage. I also wanted something that is lower maintenance, so everything is fairly drought tolerant. Lastly, I made sure that when choosing the specific plants they were not shade house grown to avoid any burning/acclimation problems. I planted them in vintage pots and added rock material on top of the soil to give the plants a sophisticated finish.
Here is a list of the plant material we used:
The trunks on these get all knotted up and grow in really unique ways, almost like bonsai, and staging them in the right planters is always really fun to figure out.
This is one of my favorite plants. Native to Madagascar, the leaf has a felt-like texture to it and the trunks often grow in unique ways that make them feel like living sculptures. Disneyland resort in Anaheim has tons of these planted around that are really old and massive.
There are many different kinds of Echeveria out there, but this one specifically is pretty unique because it has a bumpy texture to it that mimics the look of cabbage. I put these on the south facing side where there is some intense light.