2019 has seen a mini explosion of interest and awareness in keeping houseplants. There are more places to buy, gaze at and get informed about houseplants, all fuelled by the envy-raising, can't-live-with-it-can't-live-without it omni-presence that is Instagram.
So, with a dose of irreverence, we decided this year to do a top 10 of the places that inspire us with plants (that aren't Instagram). Off we go, in no particular order...
1. Canggu, Bali
Almost everywhere you go in Bali, you see beautiful, seemingly effortlessly put together plant displays that capture the mood of the holiday island. But, we pick out Canggu because of its collection of cool restaurants, bars and boutiques that incorporate plants into the design in a way that leaves you itching to makeover your local neighbourhood store/bar/cafe.
2. Oaxaca, Mexico
One of the prettiest, liveliest, artsy-iest(?) cities is awash with beautiful plants that look even more stunning against the brightly coloured painted buildings of the city. And, in a country well known for Agave and Cacti, Oaxaca's botanic gardens will leave you amazed by the specimens on show.
3. Singapore Botanic Gardens
It's easy to take for granted the familiar features of home but there's no doubt that our Botanic Gardens are one of the world's great horticultural attractions. Picking a section to explore, perhaps with one of the Gardens' guides, is a great way to feel close to the natural heritage of Singapore and learn more about some of the huge range of species that live in the Gardens.
4. East London
Hipster East London is perhaps the part of the UK's biggest city that has embraced plants in the biggest and most creative way. It's in Hackney borough that you'll find inspiring plant adorned cafes and a number of London's leading plant shops.
5. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
Speaking of hipsters... Like entry number 4 above, this once run-down area that reincarnated through art has become a hotbed for creative plant-lovers and there's inspiration to be had in buckets, along with the coffee and curly moustaches.
6. Western Australia
Australia has a lot of beautiful plants and knows how to show them off. No doubt, there are plenty of inspiring places on the East Coast but it was the laid-back West Coast and in particular the small town of Busselton that inspired us to get our skates on and build Tumbleweed. At the time, home to a beautiful plant shop known as LeafLove and with some great ceramicists in the area, we owe a debt of gratitude to this part of the world.
7. Joo Chiat, Singapore
It's no coincidence that our stores are located in Joo Chiat and Tiong Bahru. Just take a stroll around either neighbourhood and you'll see that plants are a really important part of the fabric of the community. Joo Chiat is full of balconies, little gardens and reclaimed street corners that have become home to collections of varied plants, adding to the atmosphere of the heritage district.
8. Bangkok, Thailand
The world's foremost supply centre of tropical plants is a great place to be inspired. You can find plants in Bangkok that you've never seen before, including many of the rare, exotic species that light up the pages of a certain social media platform that shall remain nameless.
9. Bay Area, California, USA
This region of the world is changing has changed the way we live and that includes, in particular, how we use plants in workspaces. The technology companies of San Francisco and its surrounding counties are leading the way in redefining the workspace and are amongst the earliest adopters of innovative, large-scale use of plants in their office designs.
10. Kyoto, Japan
The country that gave the world Bonsai, Kokedama and Kusamono has an emphasis on neat, sculpted, exquisite gardens and plant displays, that runs in contrast to the jungle look currently favoured by many city-dwellers around the world. We pick out Kyoto, and its abundance of beautiful, dreamy zen gardens, as one of our top places to be inspired by the harmonious use of textures, tones and colours.
What do you think? Have you visited a place that got you thinking you needed to get more plants in your life? Or gave you an idea to do something cool with your corner plant? Drop us an email and let us know. We love hearing about it. Anything to keep us off Instagram...!