Why you NEED a cactus….The bad-boy botanical you just can’t kill



Our luck is IN… oh, lets rub our (non-green fingered) hands in glee. The cactus has recently seen a huge spike in popularity *groans*. But seriously, this new botanical revolution is our kind of herba cura. In a word ‘succulents’.. and in further good news, ‘fake succulents’ . More of which later. Incase you have been busy considering how on earth you’re going to work Patone’s pink into your scheme, or what you can paint Inchyra Blue, here is your fresh alternative…
cactus succulent plants jungle urban homes green
Succulents: no styling required Image: Pinterest

Plants and florals have been ubiquitous this season. Imagine Day of the Triffids (in a good way) and you’re nearly there. Interpretations of the trend fall across catwalks,  soft furnishings, wall coverings and accessories in equal measure.  A quick whip around some interior haunts this week confirmed that living walls, interior gardening and exotic home-jungles are big, big news.  This time however, (unlike the 70s when no self-respecting living room was without a macrame hanger and a spider plant or the 90s when it was illegal not to have a peace lily in the lounge) the plants de jour are almost impossible to kill!  Succulents in their huge variety are so darn hardy and independent, they barely even need watering.  Basically they’re the polar opposite of your needy hanging basket.

green plants cactus cacti succulents urban jungle interiors
Workspace goals : greenery works its magic


The obvious and enormous benefit of plants of course is their beauty and colour and ability to bring a room together. T tohey’re also great to fill a gap or to give a tricky space a focal point.  However, the benefits of interior landscaping go far beyond the aesthetic. Add to these benefits their joyous health benefits; they absorb the carbon dioxide in the air and give out oxygen (none moreso than the succulents btw) and are believed by some to deter coughs, colds and dry skin.
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Cactus & succulents seen at Decology at House & Gardens SS16 Pot: Anthropologie
A substantial body of academic research, has shown conclusively that interior landscaping has dramatic effects on the well-being of a building’s occupants.  So we need foliage in our lives. But HOW ?? I hear you ask, and WHERE? Good questions to which the answers are anywhere and everywhere.
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Aloe from Rose & Grey – its actually faux y’know
Prints and patterns are an easy starting point for any room, in nature inspired colours and tones – but don’t shy away from the bold and the graphic. Rugs or cushions with a leafy motif are a simple way to bring a nod to the outdoors within and dont require a complete revamp.
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Leaf print cushion from Graham & Green
Victorian Sofa in Palm Print greenery leaf cacti succulents
Statement piece : Victorian sofa in Palm from Sketch Interiors
 This sofa, could be adapted to many different looks even though its very bold, just by changing the cushions, the background wall colour or adding a rug.
For a kitchen or bathroom you could consider getting a blind printed for a unique piece.   This one by artyliscious.co.uk is from a huge selection of options or you can custom print one with your own cactus-inspired shot.  I challenge even the most cack-handed of gardeners  to kill a roller blind.
cactus print blind succulent image interiors plant print leaf


Cactus vases : as seen at Conran

cactus green vases pots objet succulent pottery
Cactus collective at Conran
These rather brilliant and a tiny bit humorous vases I spotted at Conran (and also online at Trouva and Howkapow) are a brilliant option for nailing the trend without going with anything actually living or requiring upkeep of any sort. I love them and think they look great in a group or on their own.  But of course the inimitable Mr Conran and his team did not stop there. Hell no. Check out the incredible ‘living wall’ installation if you really want to ‘do’ botanicals indoors and max out your green-friends-with-benefits.   I am guessing this would need  watering which basically rules me out of owning one. Nice idea though and there are companies that come and install and maintain them if you were hooked on the home jungle idea.
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These beautiful succulents are more on my scale and even better, come already potted. Huzzah!
small home cacti succulents spotty pot
Exceptional things come in small packages at The Small Home

On then to then to the masterstroke for us serial(plant) killers….. am literally beside myself with the discovery (these are surely going to revolutionize homes and workspaces for the forseeable).  The interiors artizan that is Abigail Ahern introduced her range of stunning succulent plants last year and they’ve proved so popular, her new season collection is bursting with them.  Artificial, faux, mock…call them whatever adjective you choose , I call them GENIUS.   Have a browse on her site and see them in dreamy room sets and then add one straight on your need-not-want list. (NB this slate wall  panelling is faux too… how great is fake!)

You can also look at Mia Fleur, The Small Home and Graham & Green, the choice is faux-nominal (sorry, cant help myself). These prickly beauties come in a range of sizes and types and are a great way to take your interior to the next level and straight into Elle Deco land.  A word of warning…. you probably wont leave with just one.  In a choice of ‘spines’ (ok, clearly I am no Monty Don) they’re authentic, stunning AND indestructible. I know that is three good reasons to buy one.  Given I murder an  orchid every four weeks or so, it  would paid for itself in a year and you have it for a lifetime.  Crap gardeners everywhere REJOICE .
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