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Plants For Dark Spaces

Living in a basement flat really limits the plants that are suitable for my flat. It’s dingy, damp and draughty. Pretty much inhabitable for plants. But there is hope, if I can make plant work in my flat so can you!

If you’re like me and live some where dark and dingy, here are my top plants for dark spaces. They’re also easy plants to care for, even if you don’t have the greenest of thumbs. Don’t worry we’ve all killed our fair share of plants.

Philodendron

Native to tropical America, this plant has beautiful heart shaped leaves and is great for low lit rooms. Growing high in the trees this epiphyte is a trailing vine or you can train it to climb. Another plus to owning a Philodendron is that it’s so easy to care for. Keep the soil moist in summer, but never waterlogged this can cause root rot.. Allow it to dry out in the winter. They like humidity, mist occasionally otherwise I like to take mine into the shower with me. It’s fast growing and easy to propagate. A must have in my eyes.

Photo by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash

Sanservieria 

Not one I have in my collection yet but snake plants are SO easy to care for. This plant is perfect if you’re looking to add green to your flat but not overly green fingered. Native to western tropical Africa, it’s very slow growing but is great to have in low lit bedrooms as they release oxygen during the night. Too lower light will dull the markings on the leaves, just move to a less shady spot. Allow to completely dry out between watering.

Spathiphyllum

Peace lilies are another super easy plant to look after and great for those darker rooms. These evergreen plants are native to tropical regions of America and southeastern Asia. This flowering plant produces lush white flowers but in the right conditions. Check the soil before watering, if it’s damp don’t water, if dry it’s safe to water. Another way of checking to see if your Spathiphyllum needs watering is that the leave start to droop, once watered you’ll see them bounce back. I adopted a couple of Spathiphyllums off my parents which I’ll need to repot this spring and also have an extremely root bound one that my partner sort of neglected which I’ll be trying to bring it to its full potential.

Asplenium

There’s many different species you can have. I particularly like the Bird’s nest fern. It’s big beautiful green leaves and the way the fronds unravel from the centre captivate me. Ferns are great for low leveled light but do require a little more care and attention then some of the above. Never place a Asplenium in direct sunlight as this will cause damage to the leaves, keep the soil moist and allow the top layer to dry out in between watering and they love being misted. Again I like to take mine in to the shower to really get the humidity right.

Scindapsus

This guy goes by many names Devil’s ivy, Golden pothos are just to name a couple. Attractive for the markings on the leaves they can easily be confused as a variegated Philodendron, however the leaves shape and size are different. It’s a climbing plant that you can either train or allow it trail over the pot. Again this is pretty easy to care for and can tolerate low light. This can stunt the growth but if you have a slightly less shady area it’ll be much happier. Never allow the soil to be soggy and let it dry out a little in between watering and they love humidity. This is also another plant that can easily be propagated by taking a small cutting.

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Barbican Conservatory, A Photo Series.

Built into the Barbican Centre is a beautiful urban jungle to escape to if you need to get away from the chaotic city. Only open to the public on Sundays, the conservatory is a must visit for all plant obsessed people. Multilevelled and with an arid conservatory, there’s plenty of specimens for you to admire.

I visited the Barbican Conservatory with my best plant pal, Octavia last year. I wrote a small blog post about all the top plant shops and the conservatory. Below is a series of photographs I took of my visit, using my film camera. I hope you enjoy.

(If you missed that blog, why not read it now? Read about London’s Urban Jungles).

 

Barbican Conservatory.

Unedited scanned photograph, 35mm.

Series of the Conservatory glass ceiling.

Unedited scanned photograph, 35mm.

 

Palms, Barbican Conservatory.

Unedited scanned photograph, 35mm.

Urban Jungle, Barbican Conservatory.

Unedited scanned photograph, 35mm.

 

Thank you for taking the time to scroll through this post, it really does mean a lot. I’d love to know your thoughts, why not leave a comment?

Robi x

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Benmore Botanic Garden: The Fernery

When we visited Benmore Botanical Garden, within the grounds they had a beautiful Fernery. A Fernery is similar to conservatories, just specifically designed to house ferns and mosses. Ferns became extremely popular during the Victorian era, and are now making a comeback. Benmore has a collection of 142 different species of ferns from all over the world.

Outside the Fernery, 35mm scanned photograph.
Moss and fern wall inside. Digital image, Google Pixel

I find ferns fascinating, the way the fronds unravel and the detail of the leaves are intriguing. The images below are a mixture of 35mm scanned photographs and digital photographs taken on a Google Pixel. All photographs are unedited as I prefer to keep them untouched, unless I feel like they need it.

Polypodium giycyrrhiza frond unravelling, 35mm scanned photograph.
Lophosonia quadripinnata frond coiled, 35mm scanned photograph.

Commissioned to be build by James Duncan at the height of the Victorian fern craze (or pteridomania), the fernery has been standing since the early 1870. The Fernery has changed a lot since it was first built. In the early 20th Century the Fernery fell into disrepair and was left to rot.

Inside the Fernery. Digital image, Google Pixel.
Towering Ferns, 35mm scanned photograph.

Today the Fernery stands in the cliff-side, blending into the beautiful scenery surrounding it. A Century after it was left to decay, it was resurrected by the curators and members of the Young Benmore Trust.

35mm scanned photograph.
Digital image, Google Pixel.

Due to lack of detail on the original plans, they decided to add some modern twists to the building. All the stone used to build the Fernery stayed untouched with the curators adding the beautiful glass roof to provide natural light and to keep the warmth and humidity in.

Fernery Glass Roof. Digital image, Google Pixel.

The Fernery is built of three levels including a grotto with a pool and an elevated viewing platform. And I think you’ll agree with how stunning the interior is.

Digital image, Google Pixel.
35mm scanned photograph.

 

If you’d like to see more of Robi’s photographs, why not follow her Instagram @robiclm!