Lush Interiors

I love love love greenery. It’s my favourite interiors accessory by a country mile. Yes I like flowers, but for me its the foliage in floral arrangements that bring them to life. It’s probably why I chose to live in Cumbria 20 miles from the wettest place in England – Seathwaite if you’re interested.

Sunflowers and mint floral arrangement
Sunflowers £4 from Morrisons. Mint fresh from my garden!

Before Cumbria became my permanent home we had a huge roof garden in London that my green fingered sister (Hunter Gardening Services) designed and helped me build. We spent one glorious Sunday buying half the plants at Columbia Road flower market to stock it. Big Sis was in her element, it was like letting Immelda Marcus loose in Manolo Blahnik. Took us 3 car trips to get them all home. It was fabulous, all ferns, hostas, reeds and grasses. Mr W loved the garden too, but he did complain about the lack of colour. I kept telling him green is a colour!

Don’t worry this isn’t a  gardeners trip down memory lane. I am going to get to the interiors bit shortly…..

Anyway, when we bought Holly Cottage I was desperate to add some greenery indoors but it was initially a second home and I don’t share my sisters green fingered genes so I knew any plants would have a very low life expectancy, even if I did remember to water them during my fortnightly visits. I hunted high and low for lush, vibrant looking artificial plants, that weren’t plasticky or dusty looking but no joy, so the house stood foliage-less…..until now.

‘Now I’m based here I can indulge myself with the real thing. Succulents, cacti (or cactuses – both are grammatically correct) and ferns are my favourite. I like to plant them up in glass vases so you can see the soil, and top them with moss I scrape off my garden walls. Unfortunately however even the hardiest don’t last long though. Yes, I can even kill cactus. Turns out I’m still rubbish at watering stuff even on site.

Potted ferns in my summer house
Potted ferns in my summer house – the terraniums on the shelves below lie empty waiting for me to find the perfect occupants…

This is why I’m very excited about the recent announcement from Interior Designer and Retailer Abigail Ahern. Abigail is already famous for her faux flowers, and I’ve been coveting one of her giant cactuses for a while.

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Current plant range from Abigail Ahern

But after relying on suppliers, leaving her with demand outweighing supply, she has decided to start manufacturing her own faux botanicals, which means there will be no holding her back. Her new range will be bigger, more eclectic and even more decadent. If you’re familiar with AA’s work you’ll understand why I’m so excited. This is the lady that brought us my favourite ever lamp.

Teal flock Pelican lamp from Abigail Ahern available at Debenhams

Teal flock Pelican lamp available at Debenhams

Her faux botanicals range will be launched September 23rd but she’s promising us a sneak preview of the website anytime soon…..


Coming soon!

I’m also excited about the faux florist she’s opening next to the Heals store on Tottenham Court Rd. If you’re an interiors obsessive like me, you’ll already know that TCR has enough interiors stores to keep a fanatic like me happy for a day. Now I have another reason to head down there on my next London jaunt. I’m seriously contemplating a day trip for the opening. But I may need a companion to help me carry the tree I’m likely to buy. Big Sis once helped me carry a 10ft reed from the Chelsea Flower Show across London, utilising a tuk tuk, two buses and two tubes so she’s my first call. Holly Cottage could be looking a whole lot greener soon.

PS I wasn’t paid to say all this, I’m just an AA fan.