The Botanical Boy Episode 8: Prayer Plant

Tomorrow is a holy day. It is only fitting that we chose the Prayer Plant today, just in time for Easter.

This photo is more special because I caught Jamie repotting this guy this morning, and snapped some action shots. Now he is healthy and ready for Easter Sunday! Read more about why it's called a Prayer Plant:

CM: First off, the name is amazing. I know why it's called that but maybe you can explain it to our friends?

BB: In the day time the leaves drop down to get sun, then at night they close up to protect it from the cold.

CM: What's your favorite characteristic of this plant?

BB: I enjoy the markings on the top side of the leaf and the contrast to the deep purple underneath.

CM: Why did you place it so high on the shelf? is it because it is ever so holy?

BB: Yep. A little shrine.

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The Botanical Boy Episode 7: Fiddle Leaf Fig

I call the Fiddle Leaf Fig the plant of millennials. Why? Because I am rather sure I have seen this guy around all sorts of blogs, interior design sites... you name it. Well the Fiddle Leaf Fig is a good lookin' lady. Her leaves are so big, it's full of secrets... 

Jamie has not just one Fiddle Leaf Fig, but two! One is a wee baby. Hehe.

CM: Do you think this is the plant for millennials?

BB: Clearly. It's the epitome of greenery ™ 

CM: Why did you decide to get a baby fiddle leaf fig?

BB: I wanted to see how quickly it would grow. I definitely need to upgrade the supporting cane though. It's getting a bit top heavy.

CM: What's your favorite characteristic of this plant?

BB: It's a good listener.

CM: Do you know why it's called a fiddle leaf fig?

BB: Nae idea.

The Botanical Boy Episode 6: The Mystery Plant

So, today is a weird episode because we are unsure of what this plant is exactly, but this gorgeous number has been with us for quite some time. We knew we wanted to be super cool and hang a plant from the ceiling, and this guy just spoke to us. He has definitely grown A LOT since we first got him. Yes it's a him. I just decided, even though he has really long hair. He's like a skater boy... y'know. 

Here's what Jamie has to say about i:

"I'm going to have to apologize and say I'm not too sure on this one. My best guess is vinca major variegata, but maybe someone can drop some knowledge in the comments."

You heard the man - drop your knowledge yo! 

The Botanical Boy Episode 5: Paddle Plant

This guy is slightly new to the family. He sits right on the coffee table, so he enjoys watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver with us. 

The common name is "paddle plant" and the Latin name is something quite hard to pronounce,  Kalanchoe luciae. Yeah, say that three times fast.

CM: So, is this guy a succulent?

BB: Yep, succulent and juicy.

CM: It kind of reminds me of flapjacks. What do the leaves remind you of?

BB: I think flapjacks are different in the UK. This looks nothing like a British flapjack. The leaves remind me of paddles. When I was trying to find out the name for you, I googled 'succulent with paddle leaves'. Turns out it is called a paddle plant.

CM: Why does this plant deserve such a prime location (center of the coffee table)?

BB: I like this guy a lot, particularly the contrast of the red tips and the blue pot - which I must thank our friends Justin and Jane for.

CM: Can you name this one? PLEASE.

BB: No.

The Botanical Boy Episode 4: The Rubber Plant

It's on to the rubber plant! This is one of our faves. Why? Well, The Botanical Boy will tell you. He decided to get goofy today. This is more like his usual self...

CM: What's the proper name for this guy?

BB: Disclaimer: not an expert, I wiki everything. Fiscus elastica. Within this species they can look pretty different though. Ours has the variegated leaves - I think it is the 'tricolor' variety based on a bit of research. I would also like to get a 'black prince' one, which has really dark leaves.

CM: I hear he was your first large house plant purchase, is that true?

BB: People are going to start to think we don't live together. Yes.

CM: LOL. What made you choose this one at the nursery?

BB: I would like to say it was the eye-catching colors, but more than likely it was a panic buy after you complained that I was taking too long.

CM: The leaves look painted on! Do you know what gives this plant that aesthetic?

BB: Mother nature's paintbru - Na, just selective breeding of plants which had these markings, I think.

CM: Is it hard to take care of such a big guy?

BB: When I first got this guy, a bunch of the lower leaves developed brown dry spots. I think it was either because I misted him too much, or because of low light in our old apartment. He has been pretty chill since. Not much new growth but he may need repotted.

The Botanical Boy Episode 3: Old Man Cactus

Let me start off this post by saying that The Botanical Boy is not keen on naming the plants anymore. I get it. I mean, they already have names, (two actually, latin + common) so we're going to stick to OG names unless Jamie feels oh so compelled to name one. 

With that out of the way, let's move on to the old man cactus! This guy sits on our kitchen table. We enjoy is presence every morning with our cup of coffee.

CM: What's so special about this plant?

BB: I guess the idea is that the fur disguises the spikes on the old man cactus, but our guy is particularly obnoxious and doesn't play by the rules.

CM: Do you feel that he is your kindred spirit?

BB: No, as per the point above. I think I am pretty understated in comparison to the crazy old man.

CM: Do you enjoy staring at him every morning while you have your coffee? 

BB: Everything is better with coffee. Especially the appreciation of house plants.

CM: Has he ever poked you before? Did you get mad at him?

BB: If he has, that would be my bad.

CM: Are there larger versions of the old man cactus? If so, do you hope to get a big one in the future?

BB: I think they are coming out with a new version soon, which is larger. Old man cactus plus I think it is called.

According to wikipedia they can get to 20 meters tall. I don't reckon our guy's mason jar is going to permit that kind of growth, though. Also, apparently the cactus may not flower until it is 10-20 years old. So we have some nurturing to do.

The Botanical Boy Episode 2: Dorian the Begonia

We're onto episode 2 of the series! The Botanical Boy has chosen the fuzzy little Begonia that has been sitting in our bathroom for a couple months now. 

CM: Why is the Begonia up next?

BB (aka JB): She's been struggling. Yesterday I chose a plant that was really vibrant. Today I decided to shed light on a plant that's not doing so well. Poor Dorian.

CM: Why did you choose the name Dorian?

BB: Again, first thing that came into my head. Naming them is hard! I have no real reason.

CM: Tell me more about the Begonia.

BB: I talked to the guy who I bought the Begonia from at the farmer's market about why it might be struggling, and he asked me if I had it indoors, I said, "I only have indoors." He said you could either have it in a shady spot outdoors or a north-facing window, which isn't very good for us because our apartment is on the southwest side of our building. So I gave it the coolest and sunniest place I could, which is on our bedside table.

Thanks Botanical Boy! Now we all know how to not kill a Begonia masoniana. Place it in sunny spot that's not too hot... like below! 

Introducing The Botanical Boy Series. Episode 1: Molly the Monstera

Molly3.jpg

I've been wanting to push myself to do a photo series for what seems like forever, and thanks to this lovely idea thought up by Stephanie Brennan, (she also gets credit for the title) I finally said "Yes. Imma do it."

So friends, meet The Botanical Boy.... AKA my boyfriend Jamie Booth.

Throughout the past year, Jamie has formed quite an obsession with house plants. So much so that our small 1-bedroom apartment is slowly turning into a jungle. I don't mind it though. I've grown to love the greenery surrounding us. All the plants definitely put a smile on my face every day. It's like they're all my little friends! 

I asked Jamie why he grew to love these green specimens so much (please read in a Scottish accent):

"I come from a green-fingered family. My Grandma and Granda loved plants, so I do what I can in an apartment with no garden. They had a wee hoose and I have a wee hoose, filled with plants."

With all that being said, I decided to take a photo of Jamie every day with each of his house plants. We've lost count how many there are at this point, but I am guessing that this will probably go on for a month (yes there may be 30 plants in my apartment). I've asked him to name each plant along the way and tell me a little story about them, too. 

So, which plant is up first you ask? Molly the Monstera. I asked him why he chose the Monstera first and why he named her Molly. He said:

"I chose her because she looks very pretty. I just repotted her, so she's looking especially vibrant. And... I chose the name because you put me on the spot and asked me to choose a name. That's the first thing that popped up in my mind. Maybe it was because you were out with Molly last night. That's probably why."

So basically if you hang out with me enough, maybe you'll be named after one of our plants...

Let's see what The Botanical Boy selects next... stay tuned!

PS:
- Molly Pennette, this plant was named after you. Feel special. 
- Stephanie Brennan, thanks for the idea. I'm already having a blast.
- Comments are encouraged. Tell me what you think of the series!

Well Heeled in Madewell

Yesterday sparked my creativity. I'm constantly forced to be creative at my daily 9-5 gig, and sometimes I feel like I'm in a standstill when I am not going out and creating something that's actually for myself. It was fun to play model with my friend Victoria for the day and actually be in front of the lens instead of behind it art directing for once.

Played dress-up for a Madewell contest a bit yesterday around Santa Barbara.  

Desert Magic in Joshua Tree

The desert is something else. There's no other place you can find these gorgeous combination of colors. Earthy tones mixed with the bright blue sky and glaring sun...it's a beauty that's hard to find.

The little town of Yucca Valley and all its neighboring desert cities have magic just waiting to be found at every corner. If you are ever in the area, here's what I recommend:

BRUNCH
Nothing like a delicious brunch to get you going before your hike in the beautiful Joshua Tree National Forest. La Copine is a brand new spot that fuses an LA hipster vibe with the desert. I mean, perfect right? The Royal Crumpet and delicious Breakfast Junction granola yogurt bowl were our two favorites. Oh, and don't forget the beignets! 

SHOP
Although the desert is vast, there are some gems to shop at on a small strip of Route 62. Amidst the antique shops galore there is Hoof and the Horn - full of bohemian and vintage treasures that may make you just want to move in. 

EXPLORE
Well, of course you have to see the beautiful national forest! A trail I recommend is the FortyNine Palms Oasis trail. There's a lovely (you guessed it) oasis at the finish line and you'll feel like you stepped into The Lion King. Simba...where are you?!

LET LOOSE
Just 13 or so miles away from Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree there is Pioneertown. And in Pioneertown there is the legendary Pappy & Harriet's Music Venue/BBQ joint. Amazing live music, great food, and atmosphere...what more could you want? It was amazing to look up and see the old posters from artists who have stopped in previously. Their roster includes bands like Vampire Weekend, Divine Fits, and the like.  

STAY

The AirBNB we found, called the Home Sweet Homesteader was pure magic in and of itself. I probably would have been content just staying in this tiny house the entire weekend. The homesteader was artfully and thoughtfully decorated, peaceful, and had the most beautiful view of the sunset from the living room window. 

So, do you want to visit the desert yet? It's the perfect place to head if you're needing some time to unwind and relax.