Monstera: Houseplant of the Month for July

With this botanical beauty you’re not just bringing the tropics into your home, but also a living air purifier that’s easy to care for. Fancy a beautiful green monster?

Mighty beauty
An impressive name, an airy look, extravagant foliage: it’s no wonder that Monstera is a massive hit on Instagram. It’s not just photogenic because of its size – which ranges from tabletop size to welcome-to-the-jungle – but also its highly original components. Monstera has stems, sometimes a moss pole, or possibly a trunk, usually impressive aerial roots – it’s always exciting. The most fascinating aspect is that the young leaves are heart-shaped and only develop the characteristic incisions later, when they’ve had some experience of life.

Monstera delights

  • It’s an easy houseplant: hang, climb, whatever you want.
  • Its size makes Monstera perfect for use as a decorative room divider.
  • It’s a living air purifying system, for anyone who wants both privacy and fresh air.
  • It’s one of the few plants with its own hashtags, such as #monsterarmy, #aroidaddicts and #monsteramonday.

Smart monster
Monstera really is different from other plants: when the seed germinates, it will grow towards the side that is darkest. Why? Because that’s where the biggest tree trunk is. Once Monstera has found a good trunk, it can climb up it and get plenty of light. If it had to settle for the light that reaches the ground, the plant wouldn’t stand a chance. While it’s very resilient in the wild, it’s more hesitant indoors: the plant will grow best if you give it a bit of guidance (moss pole, climbing string) in the direction you want it to go.

The emancipation of greenery
More restrained and sustainable living, taking responsibility, purity, organic shapes: Monstera fits perfectly into the style trend in which greenery is given an ever greater role. Not just in the home, but also in public spaces. Think of uses of plants to keep the air cleaner, to generate energy in an environmentally friendly way, or as a buffer against constantly advancing technology.

Trivia

  • The incised leaves are an evolution thing. They help Monstera to survive in the rainforest: the leaves are less likely to break in strong winds or heavy rain.
  • In China Monstera symbolises a long life and honouring elders and respected people.
  • In Feng Shui (a kind of Oriental acupuncture for your home) Monstera is used to bring happiness or to stimulate big dreams.

Rugged climber
Monstera is a member of the arum family. They are originally mainly lianas from Panama and southern Mexico, where the plants can climb up the trees to a height of 20 metres. They also use their fleshy aerial roots to secure themselves a tree trunks, rocks or the soil in the forests of Southeast Asia. They snake and clamber upwards, enable their gigantic leaves to flourish and so provide some extra shade.

How to style Monstera
Because there’s already a lot going on with Monstera in terms of foliage, the base can be simple: sleek white, sleek black, or sleek terracotta if that’s more your thing. A mobile Monstera is very on trend, with wheels under the pot. They make it easy to bring it with you to your favourite flexi-spot or push it into a new Insta-worthy location.

Care

  • Monstera prefers a light spot, but not full sun.
  • Cold makes the plant grumpy; keep it above 13°.
  • Water moderately; the soil can be kept slightly damp, but not drenched.
  • A bit of plant food once a fortnight is enough.
  • Monstera rarely flowers indoors. If it does happen to you, cut the flowers off. They draw a lot of energy from the plant and have a rather… distinctive odour.

Pollinator Friends: garden plants of the month for July

Pink, white and purple summer bloomers not only help your garden to look stunning, but will also make you incredibly popular with honeybees, bumblebees and others.

The whole country is buzzing!
A green garden is not just a joy to look at, walk through and relax in; it’s also a paradise for bumblebees, honeybees, butterflies and other useful insects. A flowering garden is a sweet shop for them, particularly since intensive agriculture and increasing paving mean that they are struggling to find food. This is threatening these useful creatures, who are very important for pollinating flowers, plants and crops. A green garden with pollinator friends helps tackle the lack of diverse nutrition and results in plenty of cheerful buzzing, fluttering and humming life. The plants supplement what is already growing and flowering in the area and help to create a healthy biotope in your neighbourhood #sustainability.

These are the Pollinator Friends!

  • Yarrow Flat white, yellow, pink and purple umbels that sway beautifully in the wind. The flowers smell a bit like chamomile.
  • Anise hyssop Tastes of aniseed, smells like liquorice, blooms with fabulous spikes packed with often indigo flowers. Not just popular with insects, but equally irresistible to birds in the autumn.
  • Hollyhock Majestic height with enormous white, pastel-coloured or red flowers: this is the pollinator friend that can turn a wall or fence into an insect holiday resort.
  • Astrantia One of the most beautiful summer bloomers ever – a flowering pincushion in a star. And it comes in red, pink or white – no wonder that Bees & Co love it.
  • Anemone Fabulous white, pink, lilac and purple flowers with an even more attractive green, yellow or dramatic black heart. This pollinator friend makes your garden look even more exciting.

From far and wide
The pollinator friends are native to regions throughout the world. Yarrow and anemones occur in the northern hemisphere. Anise hyssop has travelled over from North America, but also grows in China and Japan. Hollyhocks originate from countries east of the Mediterranean, and Astrantia shines in mountainous regions from the Caucasus to the Pyrenees.

Garden tip Make sure that your flying visitors also have something to drink in the form of a pond, a water feature or a large bowl of water that makes a garden filled with pollinator friends even more attractive.

Bees and flowers – all you need to know.
Bees visit flowers in order to eat, but particularly in order to collect nectar and pollen for their larvae. At the same time they also pollinate flowers by travelling from flower to flower with pollen on their feet, snout and bodies. Insects can see which flowers contain nectar, and pollinator friends attract the visitors with their scent and colour. The flowers are lovely for humans to look at and a kind of billboard for insects: this is the place to be!

Garden style
To create a bee paradise you might think of an insect hotel (obviously that’s always welcome in the garden!), but the style and mood of the summer tends more towards new frontiers. It can look a bit modern and tech, with transparent and semi-transparent materials creating a disconcerting depth effect. The colours white and purple help with that. You can also use reflective materials or pots with an iridescent or oily effect to make it look ‘smart’.

QUOTE
“The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.”
Mark Nepo

Care

  • Hollyhock likes to be placed in the sun against a wall or fence, whilst the other pollinator friends prefer a sunny to partially shady spot.
  • Yarrow and Astrantia like to be in a well-draining soil, whilst the other pollinator friends prefer slightly damp soil.
  • With the exception of anise hyssop, give the plant extra food during the growing and flowering period.
  • Removing or cutting away wilted flowers will keep the plants attractive and make sure that the pollinator friends have enough energy to carry on flowering.
  • All the pollinator friends are hardy perennials that you can enjoy for years. In the autumn they die back above the soil and hibernate underground.
  • Leaving the dead leaves on the plant protects them against extreme winter conditions, and looks lovely with some frost or snow on them. Remove them at the end of February and the pollinator friend will shoot again in the spring.
  • After a few years the plants can be separated to keep them young and vigorous.

Honeysuckle: Garden Plant of the Month for June

When you walk through the garden or sit on your balcony in the evening, honeysuckle embraces you with a delectable sweet fragrance that makes you think of sultry summers and far-off places.

Fairytale at dusk
Honeysuckle is everything you could hope for in a trendy garden plant. It’s a natural-looking shrub with a slightly wild look thanks to the long vines. It blooms vigorously with flowers that you never get tired of looking at. And as a botanical bonus it also offers a fabulous sweet fragrance that is particularly released in the evenings – just when you’re sitting comfortably on your patio or balcony. They already knew it 5000 years ago: when the honeysuckle flowers, summer truly has arrived.

As the plant of love, honeysuckle is said to stimulate the libido and prompt erotic dreams with its ‘midsummer night scent’.

Climbing, trailing and flowering
Honeysuckle (the scientific name is Lonicera) is an extravagant shrub and climbing plant that easily wraps itself around other plants, trees or a fence post. The flowers are spectacular: a group of tubular petals accompanied by a variety of stamens that surround and hang from them like a fringe. The flowers are often dark pink and golden white, although they also occur in other shades. After flowering the plant produces red, blue or black berries. Honeysuckle is available as climbing species and as deciduous and evergreen shrubs. The plant will reach a height of between one and four metres, depending on the species, and flowers from June to the end of September/beginning of October.

5 reasons for choosing honeysuckle

  • It’s an easy garden plant that grows and flowers readily.
  • The flowers attract bumblebees, honeybees, butterflies and moths.
  • Can be used both as a container plant and planted in the soil.
  • Honeysuckle’s botanical look is bang on trend!
  • The flowers are a guaranteed hit on Instagram.

Tough northerner
Honeysuckle is a member of its own honeysuckle family, and grows mainly in the northern hemisphere. There are some 180 species, of which 100 occur in China, where many poems have been devoted to the plant. Alongside the cultivated garden varieties, honeysuckle also occurs extensively in the wild, particularly on the edge of thickets where the plant can get plenty of sun. The strong, flexible vines were being used as far back as the Bronze Age to make rope. Remains of this have been found.

Sweet goats

  • Honeysuckle is also called ‘goat-leaf’. That corresponds to the French  ‘chèvre-feuille’, German ‘Geißblatt’ and  Italian ‘caprifoglio’.
  • The name ‘honeysuckle’ is derived from hummingbirds that love the sweet nectar and can fit neatly into the tubular flowers with their narrow beaks.
  • Honeysuckle’s sweet scent is released during the summer months at the time when the moths come out. The fragrance tells them exactly where they can find food.

QUOTE
“The sweet scent of honeysuckle mingled with the earthiness of recent rain. Summer rain. She’d always loved that smell.” Kate Morton – The Lake House

Care

  • Honeysuckle likes a spot where the roots remain cool and the flowering upper part gets sun. The more sun the more flowers!
  • Because the plant can easily wrap itself around other plants, it’s important to think about its neighbours and whether you’d rather have a vertical green carpet or some space left in the garden. In the latter case it’s best to place honeysuckle in a more spacious spot.
  • The soil should always be slightly damp. Placing attractive stones around the stems both helps to keep the roots cool and prevents the unnecessary evaporation of water. Planting a low shrub in front of honeysuckle also helps keep the roots cooler.
  • Adding some plant food once a month during the growth period (March to May) helps keep the flowering going.
  • There’s no need to prune, but you can prune the plant if necessary. The plant will then reshoot.

Sunflower: Houseplant of the Month for June

Radiant yellow and totally summery: the sunflower now also comes as a houseplant to shine everywhere in your home with its big flowers.

Sunshine happiness
It doesn’t grow as tall as the garden variety, but it does offer those unique cheerful bright yellow flowers and the dark heart of a real sunflower with attractive dark green leaves below. Perfect company for on the kitchen worktop, the (garden) table, your desk and anywhere else in your home where you want to bring a touch of summer. Place a couple together in a container or in a group to make your home feel like a flowering field. You can add a touch of lilac or purple to visually offset all that yellow.

Buffer and feature
The upgrading of sunflowers from a stunner in the garden to an indoor feature fits within the current zeitgeist’s desire for ambition, wanting to better yourself and creating more balance between mind and body. It’s no surprise that the sunflower is the international symbol of the environmental movement and of the vegan (plant-based) lifestyle. Technology is expected to play an ever greater role in homes. A sturdy blooming archetype like the sunflower has the fresh, contemporary look that fits with this and simultaneously offers a bit of natural counterbalance.

Keep the styling of the sunflower simple to achieve the maximum surprise: transparent glass, cool white ceramics and iridescent effects here and there as a subtle reference to the ever-advancing microchips.

Fourth sister
The sunflower (its official name is Helianthus) grows in North and South America. Native Americans planted the seeds on the north side of their fields as the ‘fourth sister’ of the familiar combination of maize, beans and pumpkins – plants that help one another to grow. Spanish sailors brought the sunflower to Europe in around 1530. The seeds grew easily and so sunflower seed became part of our food: it was eaten, roasted and turned into oil. The flower has been transformed from a garden giant into a houseplant, but has always maintained its familiar appearance.

Trivia

  • The sunflower was an icon for the Incas: the people revered the flower as a symbol of their sun god because the head always turns towards the sun and turns back to the east at night. This is called heliotropism.
  • The symmetrical pattern in the heart makes a mathematical figure that is related to the Fibonacci series (perfect numbers) and the Golden Ratio, a formula for the most attractive visual proportions.
  • The sunflower has been incredibly popular in Russia since the 18th century. It provided one of the few oils that can also be used during fasting periods according to the Russian Orthodox Church.
  • The series of still-lives with sunflowers which Vincent van Gogh painted in 1887 and 1889 are amongst the world’s most famous works of art. The field of sunflowers that inspired him most was near Arles in France.

Handy to know
The houseplant does not produce pollen. This means that the sunflower keeps looking beautiful for longer and flowers for considerably longer than the outdoor variety: the flowers continue to shine for several weeks. It also has a long availability period for a flowering plant, up to the end of August. However, the houseplant does not produce seeds and once it has finished flowering that really is the end for the indoor sunflower.

Care

  • As the name suggests, the sunflower loves sunshine and can tolerate a lot of light.
  • The plant needs a lot of water. The soil should always be a bit damp.
  • Wilted flowers can be removed to give the new buds more space.
  • A bit of plant food once a week keeps the flowering going.

Fragrant Feature Plants: Garden Plants of the Month for May

Party time! Five spring bloomers that are not only lovely to look at but also offer a sensory experience thanks to the delectable fragrances that they spread.

The garden as a fragrance kaleidoscope
You’re wandering through your garden or sitting on your patio and a breeze suddenly wraps you in a delectable scent. Pure nature, delivered by broom, lilac, Lantana, garden rose and Mexican orange blossom. Those are the garden plants for May, and offer both fabulous flowers and outdoor aromatherapy. They also provide a delectable buffet that attracts bumblebees, honeybees and butterflies, so that the Fragrant Feature Plants also liven things up in that way and contribute to a healthy biotope in their surroundings.

Scents & colours

Broom is mainly offered in yellow, orange, red and white, both as a bush and as a standard. The fragrance is light and sweet and slightly reminiscent of honey.

Lilac is available from XL to XS in white, lilac, pink and purple. Lilac has a clean and fresh scent.

often changes colour during flowering. The flowers are like giant gobstoppers in pink, yellow, yellow, orange or lilac and white. The scent is spicy and warm.

Rose is offered as a bush, groundcover, climbing rose, trained on a frame or as a standard in almost all colours. Anyone looking for a delicate sweet rose fragrance should check the cultivar: not every rose is scented.

Mexican orange blossom is a shrub with white flowers that stand out against the bright green leaves like stars. The leaves have a citrus fragrance, while the flowers have a sweet jasmine-like scent.

Scents of the world
The Fragrant Feature Plants each spread their delectable fragrance in a different part of the world. The Mexican orange blossom’s home is clear from its name. Lantana grows in tropical South America, whilst lilac originates from south-east Europe. And the rose has spread from Asia.

QUOTE
“Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you.” Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Care tips
• The Fragrant Feature Plants like a sunny position in nutritious well-draining soil.
• All these shrubs need regular watering in order to be able to grow, bloom and share their fragrance. Preferably do not allow the soil to dry out.
• Plant food once a week will keep them blooming on and on.
• Remove wilted flowers to encourage the plant to produce more new buds.
• Lilac and broom are pruned in June after flowering, the other three after the winter in March or April.
• The only Fragrant Feature Plant which is not hardy is Lantana, which prefers to overwinter in frost-free conditions and can go outside again in April.

How to get the most out of them
The beautiful scents of the Fragrant Feature Plants are best released by a bit of heat, so place them in the sun. Because the fragrances are subtle, it helps to place them a bit higher. You will get more from them in pots and on side tables and racks on your patio than if they are planted down in the soil. In order to add to the sensory delight, select pots with raised patterns and add a cheerful wind chime. It’s going to be a great month!

Garden Plant of the Month
Fragrant Feature Plants are the Garden Plants for May 2019. The ‘Garden Plant of the Month’ is an initiative from the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose one or more plants which are particularly popular with consumers, or which are not (yet) particularly well-known but which have the potential to do well in the garden, on the patio or on the balcony.

Bathroom plants: Houseplant of the Month for May

Want to enjoy a lovely shower or bath in a natural setting? These bathroom plants can help you to do it.

Green start to the day
Bathroom plants all like shade, high temperatures and high humidity – precisely the conditions that are found in a bathroom. And they fit perfectly with the interiors trend in which that room is more than just somewhere to dash in and out of and becomes a space to enjoy for a good start or relaxing end to the day.

Four moisture lovers

Tillandsia is an air plant with wild tendrils and a quirky shape that does not require any soil, but draws moisture and nutrients from the air.

Ficus pumila has long climbing (or hanging) tendrils and comical leaves that are variegated and/or bumpy.

Maidenhair fern is a fresh green fern with black stems and very soft leaves that grows nice and wide.

Peace lily has soft dark green full foliage with cheerful white pennants above it.

Greenery + tech = the future
Incorporating plants into your home – as with bathroom plants – fits with the trend of self-reliance, generating sustainable energy yourself and freeing greenery to become part of daily life. It is predicted that in the future plants will provide energy through bioluminescence in the same way as fireflies and luminous plankton do. So you won’t turn on the light in the bathroom, but your ficus.

Care
• Bathroom plants can cope with quite low light levels. If there’s no window in the bathroom, they can survive fairly well on artificial light.
• Steam, mist, immersion – they love it all.
• Give them some food once a fortnight. With Tillandsia you can give it in the plant spray.
• If the plants get too wild, you can simply give them a trim.

Roots in the rainforest
Tillandsia originates from Central and South America, the peace lily from the jungles of Brazil, South America and Asia, Ficus pumilia clambers and trails in the Far East, and the maidenhair fern grows primarily in China. What they have in common is that they grow in an environment that resembles a tropical rainforest. And that in turn is very similar to the bathroom after the morning rush. The moisture and steam left behind offer ideal conditions for these plants.

Green oasis
Don’t use bathroom plants to create an instant urban jungle; maintain rhythm and peace in the way in which you position them. Together, in clusters, at different heights. A sober, harmonious and defined arrangement creates a nice environment to live in. Greenery around you is relaxing, helps to purify the air and makes every bathroom more beautiful. If you want more colour, you could add bromeliads.

Houseplant of the Month
Bathroom plants are the Houseplants for May 2019. ‘Houseplant of the Month’ is an initiative by the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant which is particularly popular with consumers or is not (yet) well-known but does have the potential to do well in the living room.

Passionflower is Patio Plant of the year!

The radiant centrepiece on your patio this summer is the passionflower, with fairytale flowers and delectable green tendrils that climb upwards with the aid of corkscrew curls. There are no words to describe the beauty of the passionflower. Colours from fiery to serene. Fabulous stamens above a heart full of frills. Flowers shaped like stars. Lots of green leaves and comical spirals with which the tendrils grip onto wires, fencing or a pergola. These climbers are ideal for providing lots of colour and delight in a small area. Passionflower (scientific name: Passiflora) can climb up a pergola, post, wall or shed and thus provide a natural backdrop on the patio whilst simply being planted in a pot.   

Passion for pure
The passionflower’s nonchalant, climbing growth habit fits well with the pure nature garden trend that calls for a healthy dose of wilderness. The plant flowers all summer long until well into the autumn. Some species even bear edible passionfruit after a good hot summer. All this patio plant needs to be able to thrive is a sturdy pot, something to climb against and a sunny spot. 

Origin 
Most species of passionflower originate from the tropical and subtropical part of North and Latin America, Asia and Australia, where the plants grow in the woods and rainforests, using trees and bushes as a support to be able to climb towards the light. 

Range 
There are some 500 known species of passionflower. In addition to shades of blue and purple, the plant also comes with red, orange, yellow and white flowers. There are also deciduous and evergreen species. Some are more hardy than others. The most common species is Passiflora caerulea, which can cope reasonably well with cold. 

What to look for when buying passionflower
• Important aspects are the pot size, the number of stems per plant or pot, the height and the shape of the plant. Passionflower is offered in various shapes: in arches, columns, pyramids and along frames in trained forms. 
• Also pay attention to the stage of flowering. Sometimes the plants are still entirely in bud, and sometimes they are offered with flowers. A plant that is already showing some colour is usually most appealing to customers. 
• Passionflower is not particularly prone to pests and diseases. In the cooler months check that no there’s no serious mildew, mealybug or red spider mite present.

Displaying passionflower
Display the patio plant in various shapes and colours, preferably in a patio setting with a bench and some attractive pots. Offering the plant ready-to-go complete with pot increases the ‘just buy and place’ convenience for the customer. Also include aids for guiding the tendrils such as frames, stakes and wire in the display. Because passionflower is often still in bud, the promotional material that can be downloaded below can serve as an inspiring backdrop in order to give a picture of the glory of the plant in bloom. 

Care tips for customers
• Passionflower can be placed in both full sun and shade.
• Make sure that the roots are kept cool. A deep pot helps, as does covering the soil with a roof tile or attractive stones or shells. 
• Provide something that the plant can climb up: a sturdy wire, a wall, a pergola.
• Give plenty of water (the soil should not be allowed dry out), but ensure good drainage in the pot.
• A bit of plant food once a month keeps the flowering going.

Colour Festival: garden plants of the month for April

Cheerful colours, fabulous flowers: the arrival of the Colour Festival officially marks the start of the outdoor season!

Will you opt for serene, or go all out?
Big flowers, small flowers. Climbing, hanging and creeping. For use in beds, in pots and containers, and in hanging baskets. The Colour Festival brings spring to your garden, patio or balcony in a flash. Begonia, Verbana, Gazania and Bougainvillea are all rich bloomers that offer different forms, so that they bring instant visual delight and experience to your garden.

Introducing: Team Special C
Begonia is the sort of garden bloomer where you can hardly see the plant once it starts flowering with full, plump flowers. Bonus points for the fact that it carries on flowering.

Verbana treats you to clusters of white or brightly coloured flowers that can take a knock and that shine in both containers and hanging baskets. You will definitely enjoy them for at least two seasons.

Gazania has flowers that open in the sun and close in the evening and when it rains. That means that the plant looks different throughout the day.

Bougainvillea is a Mediterranean climber with flowers that are usually brightly coloured and with which you can bring the Riviera to your patio. All you need to do is add a glass of rosé.

United Colours of the World
Begonia and Bougainvillea originate from South America, Gazania from South Africa and Verbana can be found throughout Eurasia and the United States.

2019 colour trends
All the Colour Festival plants come in various colours, so that you can style them entirely to your personal taste. If you want to be bang on trend, there are three clear directions this year.

  1. The creamy pastels offered by Begonia and Verbana create a friendly and gentle mood as a defence against the harsh outside world. You can reinforce that feeling with round, shiny pots, containers with floral patterns and hanging baskets made of rope.

  2. A more brightly coloured style trend places the emphasis on cool blue, purple, lilac and pink, with surprising orange and yellow as accents. Use geometric pots and perspex in order to reinforce the ‘smart’ feel. Gazania and Bougainvillea play the leading role in this trend.

  3. If you’re mainly looking for peace and quiet, opt for the garden trend involving green, blue and white with black and grey or zinc pots. It can look neat and understated; ‘urban’ and ‘sustainable’ are key concepts here. Your white is provided by Verbena, Bougainvillea and Begonia, the rust colour comes from Gazania.

What the Colour Festival plants will do in your garden
• They attract butterflies and bees and hence improve the whole ecology in the area.
• They’re plants that offer lots of flowers and colour in early spring.
• Colour Festival plants flower for a long time, and retain their decorative value afterwards.

QUOTE
“Nature always wears the colours of the spirit.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Begonia: Houseplant of the Month for April

Whether you prefer opulent flowers, fabulous foliage or both, the begonia is a plant with which you can bring colour and softness into your home.

Colours and patterns
The flowering begonia has full, plump flowers and cheerful colours such as red, pink, orange, white and yellow. The enthusiasm with which the plant blooms means that in practice that you can hardly see the plant for the flowers. Foliage begonias have their own distinctive beauty in the form of velvet leaves that are beautifully marked with silver, pink, burgundy and green patterns that more than make up for the absence of flowers. Both are plants with a luxurious look which are still surprisingly simple and easy to care for.

Begonia fun!
• A begonia’s structure is completely incomprehensible
• Flowers appear in places that you don’t expect.
• Foliage begonias come in sizes from mini to garden giant.
• Surprise: small foliage begonias can have XXL leaves.
• The flowering versions can have single and double flowers, and there are also ambitious varieties with full double flowers. And then you also have the choice between hanging flowers and smooth or curling leaves: whatever suits you and your interior style.

Looking for an overview
The begonia fits well with the lifestyle trend in which there is a growing need for an overview. We don’t want lots of stuff any more, but prefer to have a couple of attractive items with the rest safely stored in the cloud. Knowing where your food comes from, cooking your own meals from fresh ingredients. Less fake news, more good news and enough rest, purity and regularity. The plant’s compact shape results in arrangements in which a lot is happening, but which are still confined: in home decor they represent power and essence.

Whether you opt for the flowering version or the foliage plant with the eye-catching leaves, the begonia is a fantastic plant to bring 2019 themes such as peace, health and sustainability into your home.

Care
Begonia needs a lot of light, but doesn’t like bright sunlight.
Some water twice a week is appreciated. The soil should be damp.
Try to avoid spraying your begonia; it can cause mildew (a fungus).
If you remove the wilted flowers, the plant will make new ones.
Plant food once a week will keep your begonia blooming.

Forest beauty
There are 1895 different species of begonia, which grows in warm, damp forest regions in New Guinea, southern Africa and the Andes. The wild version is spikier and more slender than the cultivated version, which has much fuller leaves and flowers considerably more profusely.

Trivia
• In the symbolism of flowers the begonia represents alertness, clear-speaking and a lighter life.
• In 1690 Charles Plumier, a French botanist and monk, named the Begonia after his patron Michel Bégon. He was a French botanist and diplomat in the 17th century.
• Investment tip: begonia seeds are worth lots of money. In fact, the price of one gram of begonia seeds is more than the price of a gram of gold. That’s because the seeds are very small, the size of a dust particle. 30 grams of begonia seed contains more than 2 million seeds.

Begonia – the 2019 look
Place flowering and foliage begonias in low, simple bowls. Opt for one colour as the base. At most vary the shade of colour within a group. The compact plants will then form flowering ‘cushions’ together to absorb stress. The low lines keep a room feeling spacious, the beautiful colours of the flowers and leaves provide an energised feeling and green peace respectively.