“To say we love greenery is a bit of an understatement,” says Therese Moussa, who is the vision behind one of the city’s most stylish and verdant cafes, The Grounds of Alexandria.
The Grounds – known for its brunch menu and busy vibe – is hoping to share some of its wisdom this winter by hosting workshops and classes, including a plant-styling masterclass and propagation for beginners. Until then, here’s five things Moussa says to keep in mind when you're shopping for plants and props to add to your home.
I recommend using a variety of textured plants to add more depth and detail to your space. Whether it's a fern, a succulent or cacti, look for those textures.
They can be prickly, furry, have different membranes, be glossy and shiny, or even look like reptile skin. By choosing plants that contrast with each other, you create a space that is varied and multi-layered.
Props and pots
Think about the materials you want to put your plants in and match it to the space. For example, weathered terracotta pots will add an authentic, aged look; while concrete-mould pots will give a more modern feel.
For an eclectic vibe, place your plants in antique brass or copper vessels (you can pick these up from an antique store or Garden Life), or for a more boho, relaxed feel use white-washed and wicker baskets.
Don't be afraid to play with out-of-the-box items such as an old boot, a teapot or a teacup – you can plant in pretty much anything that fits the aesthetic of your space.
Be mindful of all the amazing, different green tones in plants and make sure you try to use a variety of warm and cool tones. Using a mixture of both will create more of a natural variation of foliage and a more organic look. Using the same shade of green foliage will create a look that is very flat.
Shapes and sizes
From the structure of the leaf, to the maturity of the plant, it's important to have a variety of plants in different shapes and sizes. I love working with everything from string of pearls to agaves.
Also keep in mind the heights and widths of different pots while you're shopping, particularly if your pots are sitting side by side. Different heights and widths will create a look that's diverse and feels more natural in the space.
At The Grounds we love to cluster our pots in odd numbers and bunches to add impact. We do this to create a really abundant look and to make it feel like it’s all been organically placed there. Don't be afraid to drill some hooks into your ceiling (check if it's safe first) and hang a cluster of baskets or pots at different heights. If you have a dead space in your home, such as the corner of a room or in front of a blank wall, a cluster of three pots hanging or placed on the ground will add so much life to your room.
The Grounds’s plant styling masterclass is on Wednesday May 30 at 6.30pm and propagation for beginners is on Wednesday June 6.