House Full of Plants’ se­cret gar­den

How a pair of plant-ob­sessed house­mates are grow­ing a green-thumbed In­sta­gram fol­low­ing.

The Coast - Homes Halifax - - Style - BY MOR­GAN MULLIN | PHO­TOS RACHEL MCGRATH

It’s all about the light: Huge amounts pour in through sky­lights, tum­ble over win­dow ledges and bathe the home Jen­nifer Lee (an oc­ca­sional Coast con­trib­u­tor) and Robyn In­gra­ham share. Split into two flats, the sunny house was perfect for the close friends when they de­cided to be­come neigh­bours about five months ago.

“Luck­ing out on a space with a nice south­west fac­ing win­dow was a cat­a­lyst for the ex­plo­sion of green­ery,” Lee ex­plains.

And ex­plode it has, with the friends ac­cu­mu­lat­ing ap­prox­i­mately 120 plants in their own in­door jun­gle, which they doc­u­ment on the In­sta­gram ac­count House Full of Plants (or @house­fullof­plants).

“Our boyfriends are in the same band and that’s how we got to know each other—they prac­tice in our base­ment. We vis­ited each other’s last apart­ments—“Lee says.

“And it was always plants that we’d always drift to. You had your beau­ti­ful out­door gar­den,” In­gra­ham adds, fin­ish­ing her sen­tence.

“And you had all your suc­cu­lent prop­a­ga­tions I was in ad­mi­ra­tion of,” says Lee.

Through their time as house­mates, their green thumbs have got­ten even more ver­dant, glean­ing tips from In­sta­gram and each other. When asked for their best tips, they shout, in cho­rus: “Drain holes!”

“If you don’t have any drain holes and you just fill your pot with wa­ter your roots are gonna rot and the plant will die right off,” In­gra­ham ex­plains. “And let­ting your wa­ter sit out for 24 hours: I fill up jugs and just have them sit­ting overnight to let all the chem­i­cals [like chlo­rine] burn off for much hap­pier leaves.”

Both women are quick to add they still have a lot to learn about plants, and are ex­cited to ex­plore out­door gar­den­ing in their shared back­yard this spring. But while they may not have writ­ten the book on house plants, they’ve cer­tainly writ­ten the cap­tion.

“Our moms always had house plants and be­tween the two of us, learn­ing to­gether, we be­gan fig­ur­ing it out,” says In­gra­ham. “It’s just fun.”

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