The latest horticultural must-have is bigger, better and not in your garden
First came miniature cacti and succulents, then tabletop terrariums, followed by the flamboyant foliage of waist-height Swiss cheese and elephant ear plants. Next? An indoor orchard. Now is the time to follow in the footsteps of the most avant-garde interiors and go the whole hog, because with this trend, the bigger, the better. Take inspiration from the high street, where minimalist interiors meet maximalist arboreal accessories – such as Foster + Partners’ redesign of Apple’s London flagship Regent Street store, which includes a grove of twelve Ficus Alii trees in the otherwise immaculate white space. We’ve spotted two-metre-tall fiddle-leaf fig trees everywhere from the windows of cool Swedish clothing store & Other Stories to designer Jonathan Adler’s New York dining room. Want to try the look for yourself? Thomas Broom-hughes, Petersham Nurseries’ head of horticulture (and the mastermind behind the tree ferns that tower over shoppers’ heads at its new Covent Garden outpost), recommends that you ‘choose a tree that is suited to the conditions – light, dark, damp, draughty – of the exact place you plan to put it.’ If possible, put the plant outdoors for a stint over summer, and don’t water it too often: the trendiest trees – ferns, fig, olive, citrus – are originally from Mediterranean or tropical climates, so don’t respond well to zealous watering. But, well-cared for, a tree will literally and metaphorically breathe new life into your home. For advice and a range of trees, try Todd’s Botanics (from £22.95 for a potted fig tree; toddsbotanics.co.uk).