Present ideas #1 Plants
One of my ideal presents to give is a large plant. I like giving presents that ultimately expire otherwise I find christmas can become an exercise in combatting tat and it is hard to find the absolutely perfect thing for those peripheral friends and relations we need to give to at Christmas – of whom there are usually quite a few. Plants are also a good thing to consider throughout the year if you want to send a present to a friend who lives outside of London, a country florist will always be able to send a good plant where you can’t be sure that their style of floral arrangements will meet your taste.
Walking into a house and being met by the heady scent of a jasmine or gardenia plant never fails to please me and it is a particularly nice thing to have at Christmas when people generally have guests over and are in the mood to decorate their houses to greater or lesser degrees.
House plants seem to me to be terribly underrated, it is probably the word ‘houseplant’ that puts most people off with its yucca plant connotations. But leggy geraniums, hydrangeas, paper whites and amaryllis are also big favourites of mine. All these plants are beautiful and either free, if grown from a cutting, inexpensive if grown from a bulb or extremely well priced when compared to cut flowers which are then a bother to arrange and are dead within a week leaving behind a vase of stinky pond water.
So during this love-in I am having with plants I have rediscovered the cachepot. Most people look at me blankly until they remember those porcelain pots decorated with birds and flowers their grandmothers used to have, then they look at me in disbelief.
But seriously, where has everyone been putting their orchids all this time? Nasty black ceramic cubes from the florist, what a missed opportunity. This weekend I will be off to the nursery to get my amaryllis bulbs and gathering together 3 on my dining table. You don’t have to do anything other than pop the pot inside your cachepot with a bit of moss around the top and anyone would think you have had John Carter round to the house. As an initial outlay our cachepots are not cheap, but if you think how easily and cheaply you can then have plants in the house continuously through the year it becomes a more reasonable, sensible or even must-have purchase.
Words by Rita Konig