Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Plant Inspiration at Wild Leaf

I'm absolutely useless with plants. Not being blessed with the most patient of dispositions, I don't put much store in following instructions or reading manuals, and when it comes to gardening or placing greenery around the home, I tend to just focus on my immediate aesthetic requirements rather than considering things like soil suitability or positioning. 

While I might like to think of myself as the 'nurturing' type, healthy, lustrous plants and flowers wither under my supervision and pots that started life as a colourful riot of blooms become lifeless seemingly overnight. In short, green fingered I am definitely not. 

As it happens, I don't have much of a garden to experiment with anyway. But things don't tend to work out any better indoors, either. I've killed pretty much every form of plant life that has ever crossed the threshold of our home, from beautiful orchids to death-defying spider plants. Thing is, though, I adore plants and flowers. And when I'm feeling a little blue, there a few things I find more comforting than wandering around a garden centre or plant shop. 

Filled with life-giving greenery, they provide the perfect counterpoint to all that noise and stuff that fills up daily life. And while I might not be good at looking after plants myself, I find a great sense of inner calm when I'm surrounded by greenery. 
So I was delighted to discover a tiny haven of green stuff just off the Gloucester Road called Wild Leaf. Open since August, this bijou plant shop is filled with gorgeous plants and has a remit to help even the least gifted of plant owners create interesting green spaces in their homes - I think they call it 'plantscaping'. And if there's one thing I've wanted to do recently, fuelled by countless beautiful pictures on Instagram, it's 'plantscape' my home.

Stocked with truly unusual plants and succulents, Wild Leaf is a true treat for the senses. There's so much to feast your eyes on - over 80 plant species to be exact. From covetable succulent pots to decades-old, towering cacti, the shop's counters and shelves are filled with unusual greenery.

A beautifully merchandised space, Wild Leaf is the sort of place that makes you want to go straight home, strip your space of all clutter and fill it instead with cascading baskets of String of Coins, light-loving Tradescantia and pots of lustrous Zebra Basket Vine. If you're a plant killer like me, the owner, Tya, can offer all the advice you need on correct care and placement for your plants. 

Turns out the wonderfully named Mother-in-Law's Tongue (or 'Sanseveria') might be a good one for my light-filled kitchen. And given its hardy nature and need for only weekly watering (yes, I do tend to forget about watering my plants too) it might even defy my poor plant care track record. 

As well as plants, Wild Leaf stocks gorgeous ceramics, pots and baskets, as well as a wonderful array of potted succulents for less than the price of a coffee. For more serious plant collectors blessed with nurturing hands, there are some really special 'heritage' plants amongst the collection - I definitely couldn't be trusted with a 135-year-old Mammillaria Geminispina (£295) though...

Located at 63 Overton Road, Wild Leaf is a lovely place for some plant inspiration, whatever your plant aspirations and abilities. Visit their Instagram page here to take a look.


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