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Private Workshops

Looking for something more meaningful & interesting to do for a special event/party? Terrarium workshops are a perfect alternative for Hen Parties, work functions or those special occasions.

You’ve taken a look at our terrarium workshops and you’ll think it will be perfect for your event. If you haven’t already please take a look at what goes into our Terrarium Workshops.
There are few options for you to choose from. If you would like us to do everything for you or if you already have a venue in mind we can offer discount.
We ask that workshops have a minimum of 6 people. You get to choose if you would like to plant into the regular or large terrarium shells. Workshops are for 18+ as we do provide alcohol but this is optional. We are not allowed to provide workshops for under 16’s. This is due to our public liability insurance. Please make yourselves aware of the terms and conditions of our workshops which can be found at the bottom of our Workshops page.


Option 1 – Full Ticket Cost (£75 for the regular size shell, £95 for the larger shell)
This works exactly as our workshops run. We provide the venue & the additional extras*. Please state which size shell you’d prefer to go with.

Option 2 – 10% off full ticket price
You have a venue (i.e your home, function room.) but would still like us to provide the additional extras*.

Option 3 – 15% off full ticket price
You have the venue & don’t wish to have the additional extras.


*Additional extras include glasses of Prosecco for guests.

If this is something you would like to discuss further please use the contact form below. Please include the date, time and the number of attendees. Also, please include if you would like to go for the regular or large shell and which option you’d like to go with. Just to make you aware that we don’t provide workshops over January & February and we need a minimum of 8 weeks notice to book you in. If you are providing the venue, we do ask that it’s easily accessible as we have to bring lots of materials with us.
To secure your booking we will ask for a deposit which will be 50% of the overall cost and will be non-refundable. We will then ask for the remainder of the payment 2 weeks prior to the workshop.

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Walk-In Workshops

Join me for a one to one terrarium workshop at Illustrate on Sunday 26th May, 11am – 5pm.

You’ll receive a more personal experience of my terrarium workshops, where you’ll get me all to yourself. Just like the group workshops I’ll briefly explain how this form of indoor gardening has helped my mental well-being to then starting my own business and the history of terrariums. I’ll talk you through the layering and you’ll get to pick the plants you would like to have inside, then decorate as you please. You’ll leave with your brand new terrarium, watering pipette & expert care advice.

How it’ll work:

I’m planning on having 8 sessions throughout the day (subject to change), which I’ll be hoping to start every 45 minuets, with the first starting at 11:15am. There is a limit of 12 people for the day.

If you arrive and I’m already in a session and you would like to take part in the next one, there will be a reservation list. Depending on the schedule you’ll be able to browse the store, grab a coffee from the cafe or pop out shopping and return at your chosen time.

The session are one to one, where you’ll to have a more personalised workshop. If there’s more than yourself wishing to take part, depending on space, I might be able to host for two people. No groups. You will be asked to split up or attend one of my group workshops instead. For my other workshop dates please click here.

This is the first time I’ll be trialing walk-in workshops, please be patient if I am running behind schedule or spaces are full. This could either be a huge success or a terrible, terrible idea.

All material supplied, just bring your wonderful self.

If you require further information on the drop in terrarium workshop, please email me directly at loofterrariums@gmail.com. Thank you.

By taking part in this workshop you are agreeing to the workshop terms & conditions. Please make yourself aware of these before attending.

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Just Another Blog Post

My next blog post was going to about ‘Why I had a Selfish Christmas?’. This was supposed to be written and posted back in January. I even got you guys to do a poll on Instagram about what I should talk about and this is what you wanted. Well, I’m sorry, it’s the end of February and March is literally days away and posting something about Christmas now is pretty much useless/pointless.

If I had myself organised I might have been able to upload a post about my visit to Glasgow Botanic Gardens in November. I’ve written the blog post, I’ve just not had the films developed yet. I should throw that post up as it’s something fun and I shouldn’t worry about waiting for my film negatives to be developed but again I keep telling myself not to post it. (Let me know if you think I should just go straight ahead and just POST IT ALREADY).

But here I am now rambling about why I’ve had zero motivation to do a blog and that needs to change. So instead of it being ‘Why I had a Selfish Christmas’, I’m changing it to ‘I’ve had one of the most positive winter periods in a long time.’ Bit of a mouthful though.

A lot of people are affected from the lack of daylight in winter. Although I haven’t been officially diagnosed as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), I’ve just diagnosed myself with it. I’ve struggled through winter months for years. Usually it’s not always so bad or other circumstances have heighted it. But winter makes me want to turn into a fuzzy little ball, sleep a lot and eat.

This time last year I was severely depressed. I’d only been on antidepressants for maybe a few months, it could have been longer. (I’ve lost track). I’d been self-employed as well, which over the Christmas period was brilliant. But January & February was hell on my mental well-being. Luckily about a year ago I was offered a job working with Wild Leaf, which has dramatically changed my life.

So last year, I was in a pretty dark place, but this year I’ve been distracted. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been easy and I doubt I’d be able to be cope what I’m doing if I wasn’t taking antidepressants. Maybe distracted isn’t the correct word but busy. Wild Leaf has taken up quite a large portion of my time over the past couple of months. It’s given me something to focus on, rather that dwelling on bad thoughts at home alone.

Other contributing factors to having my most positive winter in years is because David and I are living in our first flat alone together. This move has definitely had a positive affect on my mental well-being. It’s so light and warm, my plants are loving it! It also meant David and I could have our ‘selfish’ Christmas.

I don’t like Christmas at the best of times but this year we decided that it was time to do Christmas alone. Trying to decide which family to go visit, trying to fit in everything around our working schedules it just too much for me to think about. December is pretty stressful for most, and knew that I needed to have a selfish one for my own mental wellbeing.

And you know what? I’m glad we had our own Christmas. It just meant that I started 2019 on a better foot. I was more refreshed, I was looking forward to getting back to it. Now I know that at stressful periods like Christmas I do need to put my own well-being first and will be trying to do same this year.

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From BSMT to FFF; The Move

If you haven’t been following my journey so far, I’ve now moved flat! No more dingy basement, hello bright first floor! And, oh, my, days it is glorious so far. But boy, that move was fucking stressful. Not only did it take me a few days to get all my plants into the new apartment but I also got a chest infection at the same time.

So the move itself really screwed with my mental health. I don’t deal with change very well and the stress of the move really set my anxiety off. It was also super stressful trying to move anything whilst having a chest infection, I couldn’t do anything too vigorous otherwise I’d get super out of breath.

In my previous blog post (From BSMT to FFF) I mentioned moving around 100 plants. That wasn’t including my terrariums and the plants I’ve been propagating. I pretty much moved everything myself. 1) I wanted to slowly integrate them into their new environment and 2) I do not trust anyone else with my plants (obsessive plant mum here).

So a couple of days before the big move, I moved all of my arid plants over (all my cacti & succulents). I knew they wouldn’t mind the change in temperature of the new flat, especially with no one living in there. They’re more hardy than the rest of my plants, where some need that constant attention. Moving my arid plants was particularly hard than the rest, due to the majority of them being in terracotta and that just adds some much extra weight to a plant.

I then moved all my stock and terrariums over the next day. Again I didn’t trust anyone to move them but myself because I knew if anything got broke, I’d be less annoyed at myself than someone else. I gave all terrariums a really heavy water when I got into the flat to help them become established in their new surroundings. I love that they’re in the living space now. It definitely makes me check on them more routinely.

Then it was moving all the tropical and my larger plants. This was a little more difficult as these plants can definitely be more fussy with being moved about. I think that it took me a couple of trips at least to get them all there. Some of my tropical plants like my Calathea’s & my Ctenanthe setosa were suffering badly from cold draughts in the basement but they’re on the road to recovery now they’re settling into their new environments.

I did have a little help with moving my indoor greenhouse and my propagation unit which David loaded into the small van we hired to move the larger furniture. They wouldn’t have fitted into my car so I’m glad we could move them safely.

I took me probably around 4 trips (maybe more) to move all my plants, with a full car of plants everytime. I was really lucky that the weather was pretty mild and didn’t affect us too much.

I did have to throw a few plants away. I was ruthless and threw out the ones that had infections/pest or didn’t survive the move. I could tell there was no recovery for some. Already I can see a changes in my plants (and my mental well-being). A couple of my Ceropegia woodii re-flowered and I can see buds coming on others and lots of new growth.

In the basement flat I seemed to cram as many plants as I could into whatever available light I could get them into. The new flat is much more spacious for light, I’ve been able to spread my plants across 5 rooms almost. I really want to create a miniature jungle to live in. So I’ll definitely be adding more to collection. At the moment I’m at a count of about 120 and that will be constantly growing.

Thank you for reading and I hope that you’ll follow the final part of my journey on how the move has affect my mental well-being and my plants.

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My Plant Journey; from BSMT to FFF

I’d love for you guys to follow my journey of moving from a basement to a first floor flat, how that will impact my mental well-being and my plants. This will be a mini blog series on my current living situation, moving with over 100 plants and the after effects.

I currently occupy a basement flat (underneath three floors of students) and live with David and another housemate. It’s not the most idealistic place to live. Over winter is get super dark, even during the day and really cold. This becomes super triggering as it just makes me want to stay in bed and not do anything. I really struggled with my mental well-being at the beginning of this year and really let it get the better of me.

Living below students is becoming a huge trigger for me. The annual change of students stresses me out and gets me all anxious. I also seem to get super sensitive hearing at night and can hear everything that’s going on upstairs. This will trigger my insomnia, and even with calming sounds on & an eye mask I won’t be able to sleep. And for me it’s not a case of just being a bit tired the next day, it’s all these really negative and horrible thoughts that come with it.

It’s not the most plant friendly environment either. Over summer they were thriving. The flat is so bright and cool, with the heatwave it didn’t affect them too much. Last winter I lost a few plants to cold shock. Also a lot of the tropical plants get damaged/stressed from the central heating being on. I find having cacti and succulents in a basement not too bad, the can cope better with the fluctuating temperatures. They don’t really get enough light over the winter and some would grow a little ‘leggy’. During the summer I popped them outside so they really could enjoy the heat & sun.

Now we’re not moving far from our current location but going from a basement to a first floor flat will really help me and my plants! It’ll be so light and warm even through the winter months. I’m excited to really have our own space and not have to worry about a housemate coming home or being around.

There’s a bathroom with a BATH & WINDOW. My more aquatic plants are going to LOVE it! The bedroom is north facing and I’d love to make a little Marantaceae plant display, (so Calatheas & Stromanthes ect). Then the lounge has a South facing window, my arid plants are going to love it! Finally they should get enough light. I can not wait to get them into their new environment.

Although I am NOT looking forward to moving all my plants myself. We’re thinking slowly moving them from the current flat to the new one. But it’s definitely going to be challenging. I’m already trying to prepare myself for some casualties. I’ve had to throw out (RIP guys) a few from my collection as they had fungal diseases and there was no way for bring them back to being a healthy plant.

We’ll be moving slowly over the next couple of weeks. We’ve had some furniture delivered to the new flat already which is super exciting! I can’t wait to share with you guys how it all goes.

Thanks for reading ✌🏻

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Working at Wild Leaf

I know I keep saying this on Insta a lot, but fuck it’s been a crazy year! This time last year I was still part of the Extract Coffee team – never did I think I’ll be working at Wild Leaf. It was honestly only something Octavia would joke about as we dreamt of plant businesses and adventures we’d go on.

So in that time I decided to go self-employed and boy what a mistake that kind of was. It was coming up to Christmas time and I knew I would have to put a lot of focus on the business and knew that working in a fast paced roastery & trying to do LOOF would pretty much kill me. It was already slowly taking a toll on my anxiety and my body (honestly don’t get me started on my IBS through that time, let’s just say it was a bit of a shit time).

Being self-employed over the Christmas period was fine. I was rammed up with weekends of markets and filling the other time with bespoke/custom orders, little did I know how shit the new year would be. Self-employment isn’t the easiest in any field, but my business relies on holidays/annual events.

Those first few months of 2018 we’re pretty terrible and being depressed I wasn’t really doing any work and was spending a lot of time not doing much. You’d think that the impending doom of having to pay rent each month would be enough motivation to push yourself to bring income in through your business. Not when you’re depressed – it reassured my thoughts of thinking I was as useless at starting a business or what’s the point, I’m putting my soul into this and not getting much back.

There were a lot of times when I was ready to give up, throw in the towel. Fuck it, let’s just get a 9-5 and be done with it. But luckily I’ve got some incredible people around me (shout out to Davo) and if it wasn’t for Octavia setting up a meeting between Tya & myself I wouldn’t be working here today.

But Wild Leaf is more than just a job that pays bills. It’s a happy space where I turn into a big child and get to talk about how fascinating plants are to people on a daily basis. I get to be in an environment that I never want to leave (you’ll probably catch me after hours taking photos or getting some admin done). It’s given me confidence in what I’m doing – I’m knowledgeable enough about the plants to really advise people on what would work best to their needs and environment.

Working here has also given me the opportunity to start workshops which, was a goal of mine to do this year. I get to constantly learn about plants and I’m forever adding to my growing collection. I keep falling in love with some of the big guys and end up buying them instead. It’s really helped me as a person, as well as a business and that I’ll always be grateful for.

Thanks so much for reading. Follow Wild Leaf on Instagram here or check out their website www.wildleafbristol.co.uk

 

 

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My Plant Collection; Peperomia argyreia

Peperomia argyreia otherwise known as watermelon Peperomia, due to the magnificent foliage. Just look at that pattern! If you’re looking for an easy plant with striking foliage this is the guy for you. Also propagating these guys is super simple!

I got mine at the end of autumn I think, and I’ve already been able to break it up and repot the cutting. Both of mine are in east facing windows and they seem to be happy. Both are sending off some new growth, which is always a great sign!

Peperomia argyreia

common name: watermelon peperomia

light: Bright/indirect, preferably east or west facing. Low light levels will stunt the growth.

water: They like light airy conditions so be careful not to overwater. Really allow the soil to dry out between waterings, espically in winter or if your flat is cold like mine.

top tip: Your Peperomia will appreciate some humidity – mist him occasionally.

why get one? – Is here a better reason then just to get then because of the foliage, they’re just so cool! Plus their flowers are well weird!

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My Plant Diaries; Forest bathing & Well-being

I’ve been mentioning forest bathing on my social media quite a bit recently and sorry if it’s getting a little bit boring and I promise this will be the last time I mention it (for a while at least!) but you really should go do it.

So in my last post I did a photo series from my time forest bathing. (Link’s just there if you wanna check it out.) And I was updating my Instagram stories regularly that day of mine and Willow’s time in the wild, so I’m just gonna explain what it is a little bit more.

Forest bathing’s great and even better for your well-being. Living in a city is pretty chaotic most of the time and sometime you just need to reconnect with nature. Bristol’s great in that sense. You’ve got the Downs, Ashton Court and just a little bit outside of the city is Leigh Woods.

 

The term comes from the Japanese, Shinrin-Yoku which means ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’. The practice has positive benefits and it’s pretty self-explanatory. Go to a forest/woodland and just be present in that moment. Breathe in the air around, zone your ears out so you can hear the wind rustling through the leaves, birds cawing as they fly overhead and insects & animals rustling in the undergrowth. It’s pure bliss.

There are so many health benefits to doing it! It reduces blood pressure, stress and for me, my anxiety. It boosts your immune system, your mood and energy levels.

And it’s not only in Japan where countries use a similar practice. In Sweden, Norway & Finland they have something called ‘freedom to roam’ which is a human right to explore and be in nature. I found a great video about it, which I’ve shared on my Facebook page, that goes into more detail.

It’s also something you can do with your four legged pal. Be adventurous together and really dive into it. Leigh Woods has this fantastic hidden walk with takes you down this really steep slope or you can just stick to the manmade paths. Snuff Mills has this wonderful little wild flower garden you can walk through then opens up to the woodland and some open spaces, there’s even a river to walk beside.

Being in nature really brings my childish side out, I get distracted by everything. The plants, the dogs or insects. Walking in woodland really gives me this nostalgic feeling and I instantly forget my troubles and all I want to do is put my face into some plants, even better if a dog comes up for a pet.

 

All images taken by myself and on my Google Pixel.

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Forest bathing, A Photo Series

Leigh Woods is a quick and easy spot to get to just on the outskirts of Bristol. I went there with Willow on a little forest exploration.

Snuff Mills is another hidden jem in Bristol and holds a special place in my heart. Forest bathing bonus; there’s a garden full of wild flowers! Snuff Mills is a doggy heaven so bring your four legged pals!

I’ll be writing up another blog about what forest bathing is and how it’s helps with your well-being.

All images are taken by myself on my Google Pixel & are unedited.

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My Plant Diaries; Plants & Well-being.

My plant journey started two years ago. I started LOOF as a hobby to help me with my depression & anxiety. I find that I get completely wrapped up in what I’m doing and time flies by. It also gave me something to care for & learn about. Plants are so fascinating, the more I researched into terrariums & plants, the more I wanted to learn.

As adults I feel like we’ve lost something we had when we were children. That curiosity and fearlessness of throwing yourself into anything. And plants have done that for me. They’ve filled a void I didn’t even knew I had.

Also the excitement it brings now that it’s growing season. Literally I want to explode! My Alocasia Wentii has had it’s 3rd leaf unravelling this last couple of weeks. My Monstera (obliqua/adansonii) has two new leaves sprout this year. My Epiphyllum anguliger has had so much new growth, it’s insane. I’m growing chili’s & peppers which I have no idea what I’m doing but they’ve germinated and have little green sprouts.

A lot of my plants are rescues and I live in a basement flat, so I’m beyond thrilled that these plants are thriving. I love rescuing plants, I just want to give all of the plants, all of the love (just like with my obsession with dogs).

Then working at Wild Leaf I get to be around plants all day and it’s making my dream of LOOF & having a shop a reality. It also has opened up a wonder of new specimens to get familiar with. You slowly start to fall in love with certain plants in the shop or even when you get a delivery you literally scream when you get a new species as you’re too excited!

It also gives me the opportunity to really get my business set up and get creative again. Which is something I completely lost through my darker periods.

Plants give me that escape I need. When I’m with them, I stop caring about everything else and put all my focus on them. Find that thing that turns you into a kid again.