As I said in a recent post, my whole life is now confined to just 3 rooms (4 if you include the little entryway… no? Okay, 3 it is then) and I am completely alone. Well, in terms of human company anyway… 

That beautiful typewriter in the middle? An amazing, thoughtful gift from my angelic Penny.

I have been so excited to move into my own place for many reasons; obviously a big one is the independent feeling and the privacy, etc. but also there’s the big perk of ‘designing’ my space just the way I want it. I have spent the first couple of months in my flat slowly but surely making the space my own – I’ve been buying furniture and decorations from second hand shops (there will be a post on that soon, too!), popping bits from my crystal collection out on every available surface, and organising my (very many) toiletries and kitchen jars so they’re set out in the perfect order for everyday use… and I’ve treated myself to a few new green friends. 

I had been loving and tending to 4 teeny cactuses (it’s not technically correct to say ‘cacti’, apparently. Who knew?!) for a few years now, on my bedroom windowsill at the parents’ house. I have made sure that to start with, I’ve only got a few ‘low maintenance’ plants in my flat – and also ones that love the sunshine, because I am very lucky and have a south-facing living room that is flooded with light in the mornings. And when I first viewed this place, I saw the old (and obviously not functional) fireplace in the living room and was filled with an urge to decorate it somehow – then a friend suggested I fill the front of it with plants, and it clicked. I want my own adorable, teeny indoor jungle. 

So, here are my plant babies, who will be keeping me company for my whole tenancy (hopefully), but especially in the next 12 weeks… and each of their unique stories. 

Jesse is a new addition. He’s a Ponytail Palm, who is quite wee right now but could apparently grow up to 6ft tall. I want to help him get there! Personality-wise, he’s a bit floofy, and prefers it to be pronounced ‘juh-saaayy’.  He and Dick Swarley (below) are both from Simply Garden, Hastings Old Town. 

Say hello to Dick Swarley! Dick, because of how he’s protruding from the lovely pot he’s sitting in… it’s a bit phallic, isn’t it? Or is that just me? It’s definitely not just me.
Swarley? Well, if you don’t know the reference, I’m ashamed of you. He is my only plant with two names, because I just couldn’t choose between them. Isn't he a beauty? 

This is Selma, the ‘Mother-in-Law’s Tongue’. She was named after Marge Simpson’s sister, Selma Bouvier. And while Selma isn’t a mother/MIL, she is definitely vicious. And I dunno, her thick, tough and juicy leaves made me think ‘Selma’. She’s from La Collina, the lovely florist in St Leonards on Sea. 

This is the legendary first cactus, Ken. His full name used to be Kenickie, after one of my least favourite characters in one of my least favourite musicals (sorry, it’s just too silly and sexist for me). Why did I name him that then, you may ask? The truth is, it was the first name that popped into my head quite loudly when I brought him home, about 3 years ago. And for some reason, it stuck. These days, with his fluffy white head and thick little trunk, I think Ken suits him much better.  

Oh, and he has a baby now. He grew him/her quite soon after I brought him home – maybe because after living on a shelf with a mob of peers for so long in the garden centre, he got lonely being the only prick in my bedroom (oi oi). To begin with, I joked he’d developed a tumour.
His baby is still unnamed. Anyone wanna suggest one that they think would fit? Please do so in comments/tweets! 

Some flowers burst out of Ken’s noggin not long after I set him up on my windowsill at the parents’. I took that as a good sign; his way of saying ‘you made the right choice, and I am happy’. He's flowered a couple of times since, but I'm actually more proud of how tall he's grown. 

Yeah, I’m pretty damn proud of Ken. He’s had a full glow up. To think when I brought him home, he barely peeked out over the top of the stolen Starbucks mug I put his plastic pot in – and now he’s standing tall and proud, with bucket loads of Big Pot Energy, a good head and shoulders above his buddies on my mantelpiece. Speaking of…  

This is my second plant purchase, Lizzo, formerly Rizzo (do I really need to explain that? Good) who has recently been renamed after the body positive superhero powerhouse who has blessed us with some serious bangers in recent years, and given so many womxn a voice, and infinite sass. I thought this succulent gal was best to bear her name – she’s particularly juicy.  

Ah, these little cuties. Well, not so little any more, I guess. When I purchased them at Windsor’s Savill Garden, after having a delightful coffee and biscuits with an old friend who lives near there, they were in teeny plastic pots about the size of double espresso cups. Maybe even smaller than that, actually. They were barely an inch tall; Athena (left) had her bulbous head tucked in amongst her many little arms, and Phineas (right) was only just poking out of the soil

These days, Athena’s head is properly protruding and she actually has been flowering regularly for the past few months (of course now I go to write about her, the beautiful deep pink blooms disappear. Grrr). I had to re-pot her and Phineas, almost immediately after moving into my new flat. Again, that’s got to be a positive sign…?  

Phineas is named after a bully at school who I always felt sorry for. I mean, I won’t disclose his surname on here, but wow, it was a bad combo. He was one of the very few bullies that actually proved the preaching teachers right; bullies are the most insecure and angry ones, and we should feel sorry for them. And then someday, we should name our house plants after them. My little Phineas is quite a bit nicer than my classmate, but he has been a bit difficult lately and a layer of dusty white has appeared all over his skin (except the tip of his head – weird, no? Anyone know what it could be?). He also sprung right up when I moved out. He’s up and down, but aren’t we all? 

Finally, meet Phoebe the Peace Lily. She is named after the one and only Phoebe Buffay, whose late mother (spoiler: not the biological one) was called Lily. So when I was presented with this beauty (by a kind visitor to the flat, not long after I’d moved in) I heard Phoebe’s voice in my head saying ‘I’m getting a lily [tattoo]. For my mom, because her name was Lily’. Anyone else read that and heard her goofy voice in their head? See? It isn’t just me!  

My relationship with Phoebe was rocky to start with; a few of her leaf tips turned brown really fast, and she was soon slumping in her pot where I’d left her in front of my fireplace. I was then told she didn’t like direct sunlight, and tucked her away towards the back of the room, beside the sofa, and gave her a good drink. And just like that, she freshened up! And her dainty flowers are popping out now and again, cheeky things.   

Okay, that’s all of them! That is, until I order more from the very tempting Patch Plants website (thank you to Lucy for pointing me in their direction)... I’m so happy you readers finally got to meet these babes. Have any of you got little plant families? If so, are you happy with how they are being and growing, or do you need a few pointers and tips? Comment/tweet/DM on Instagram, and I’ll get the experts in.

Peace out!


  1. Your typewriter is so lovely!!! I love small ornamental plants too. But these days, I'm starting to think of helping my Dad enrich his herb garden. It will be useful on these days when out movements are limited because of the quarantine period.


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