Oliver's Feature Plant Wall
I love how much my love of plants has rubbed off on my daughter. It’s a beautiful thing to see her watch them grow and make small mindful observations about when they unfold a new leaf, or if they are looking droopy. So when I started planning Oliver’s new space from scratch, it was a fairly obvious choice to me that I would start with plants. I was so fortunate to partner with Costa Farms. They helped me fill the space with plants and really bring it to life. I couldn’t be happier with how it has turned out.
I think at one time or another we all see a living wall either in person or in a magazine and think “Oh that’s amazing.” That was me. Many many times over. (Also, an outdoor shower! Because they are simply swoon worthy. Am I right?? One day maybe. *fingers crossed*). Anyhow, to the wall. I poured over image after image of glorious living plant walls. I loved them all but I wasn’t 100% sure it was the right fit for our home and our needs. So then I looked at images of hanging plant ceilings. I loved these as well, but still wasn’t sure it was for us. In the end I came up with the idea of a hanging plant rod, and I really love how it fits in the space and allows me a lot of flexibility to change the look anytime I want.
I am chronically indecisive, and quite the ‘unnecessary furniture rearranger”, so the plan has changed many many times. But at its focus, I was determined to have a main plant feature wall of some sort.
Here are some of the factors I was considering when creating the plan:
1. We rent our home. Whatever I came up with would need to be removable when we leave this home. It could not be anything fully permanent.
2. I wanted the plant wall to have a big impact on the space, without being overwhelming.
3. We have carpet and I didn’t want anything that would possibly drain water or soil onto the carpet.
4. The plants needed to be easily movable. I love moving my green babies around the house and rotating them through our spaces. I knew I wanted the flexibility to change them anytime I wanted to .
5. The plants needed to be completely out of reach for Ollie. He is ok with the plants on the ground, but I didn’t want to risk him pulling anything down on him from above.
6. It couldn’t have too much weight. Considering again that we don’t own this house, I didn’t want to build anything that would need to be reinforced too much.
Here are a few of my inspiration ideas from Pinterest.
The image in the top center block was the one that really helped me move forward with the plan. It occurred to me that installing a fixed rod at ceiling height would allow me a lot of flexibility to layer, add, and move things as I saw fit, and came with only the skills required to install a heavy duty curtain rod, rather than accept the task of doing a ceiling install. So in the end, that's exactly what we did. I found a white minimal curtain rod, stable brackets and heavy duty wall plugs.
Our firsts few attempts at creating a rod that was suspended further away from the wall was a total flop. The weight distribution was too much and the entire thing collapsed, plants an all. After we switched to the curtain rod with a shorter reach, things went much better. I used oversize S hooks to allow me to move the plants around anytime I want. In a perfect world the hooks would be white, but this is what we had so I went with it.
If you have been following along with me for any amount of time, you will notice that I have a large amount of plants to choose from in this house. However for this project I knew I would need quite a few more and I wanted a lot of texture and dimension with the plants. I reached out to the Horticulturalists at Costa Farms and they were so helpful in recommending plant species and varieties that fit my space. I try not to play favorites with my green babies but there are some standouts on the wall for sure.
1. Pothos. I have several varieties of Pothos in this house and I love them all. They were a natural choice for the wall because they are fast growing and trail beautifully. I also find them to be extremely forgiving to light fluctuation and watering.
2. Blue Star Fern. I remember when I first saw a Blue Star Fern. It was love. It has such beautiful shaped leaves, and a rich color that it s a real favorite for me. While I don't find it to be as forgiving care wise as the Pothos, it really is too beautiful not to love.
3. Spearpoint Ivy. This is another plant that has very distinctive and unique leaves. It has a really nice deep green color and a wide leaf reach. I like how it adds a different layer of texture to the space.
WORK WITH WHAT WORKS
In the past I have been know to get in a real funk when things don't go my way. I used to get discouraged and extremely frustrated. This project is a real example of how much I have grown. Lots of my ideas just didn't work, and I had to adapt. It really helped to keep the big picture in mind. This was a space for Ollie to grow and thrive. It didn't need to be "perfect", it just needed to feel like home. In the end I can honestly say I love the space for everything that it is, and I am not the smallest bit concerned with anything that it isn't. You can check out the full tour here.