The Insider: Interesting house plants


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The Independent Online

My house plants are a disgrace: one has been with me since university, while the others are scabby hand-me-downs. But now I'm ready for some more sophisticated green in my life – especially as indoor plants can reduce stress, boost happiness and help us to breathe better...

Old favourites

Hip Houseplants, by the A-list florist Orlando Hamilton (Dorling Kindersley), is a little dated (it's from 2001) but wonderful as it's interiors- rather than gardening-focused.

The single life

Victoria Hamilton, Orlando's business partner at – though no relation – says that a common mistake is putting too many and too many different types of plant in a room. "You only need one, or a grouping of the same type together," she explains. Think you don't have the green fingers to pull it off? Try succulents: "Very now, and very low-maintenance: a row of baby ones in small pots on a window sill is stunning."

Bed heads

Put a scented plant in a bedroom for a divine fragrance. Separate a three-bulb pot of hyacinths (in season now) and plant in a trio of pots.

Sweeten the pot

Hamilton also despairs of ugly containers. "They make any plant look bad – and you can use anything: a beloved dish, de-labelled food cans, even a fishbowl – which looks beautiful on a coffee table."

Hang it all

Wally Pockets' living walls are simple yet striking (from £28.99, I also love Gitta Gschwendtner's giant tea-cup planters (pictured above, £159,, the Cloison Etcetera Hanging Garden, a sort of growing room divider (, £275) and the upside-down, hanging Sky Planter (from £22.99, I'm feeling perkier already. kate burt

Find Kate's blog on affordably interiors at