A woman has revealed how she turned her London kitchen into a tropical paradise spending more than £1,000 on 200 plants imported from abroad.
San King, 47, from Richmond, London, her husband Steve, 48, who only bought plants from the supermarket before lockdown started indoor gardening during the Covid-19 pandemic using an app.
Her collection requires a lot of upkeep and San must not only water them daily but check for pests too.
‘I have always loved plants, I would buy little supermarket plants and my collection just grew from there,’ she explained.
‘When Covid-19 hit, I started to get more interested in plants and how to care for them. While everyone was doing home improvements, I was getting into plants. And my collection is growing as my taste changes.
San King, 47, from Richmond, London, has shared her incredible tropical paradise in her own kitchen
She took up a hobby of growing indoor plants during the lockdown and has kept it going ever since
San and her husband Steve, 48, now have over 200 plants in their home, spending close to £1000 in total, and importing rare plants from abroad
‘They are all mostly in the kitchen, which is nice and bright and faces a south west garden.
‘When my collection was small, we put up a scaffolding board shelf and then when I got more plants I got more shelves and filled more walls until I took over our extension and it snowballed from there!
‘I certainly do not have a green thumb, as it is evident with my outdoor garden. My knowledge of plants is from research and learning as I go along.
‘I started with a plant app, but as my collection grew I gave up on logging in every plant and I am confident enough now, to know when my plant needs watering or repotting.
‘I have around ten different genera of plants, they are mostly foliage, but some do flower. My current favourite type is the Anthurium.
‘In total there are probably around 200 plants. I source them from supermarkets, nurseries, online stores, Etsy and e-Bay.
San said she has always loved plants and would buy ‘little supermarket plants’ until her collection grew
New hobby: When Covid-19 hit, she started to get more interested in plants and how to care for them
She said it takes two hours to water them all, sometimes even longer, she uses the filtered water from the fridge
‘I have also imported rare plants from overseas like Europe and Ecuador as it was still cheaper than buying in the UK. Even with delivery costs
‘It takes me probably around two hours to water them all, sometimes even longer. I use the filtered water from the fridge, and I need to wait for it to come up to room temp.
‘I usually try to do watering in sections to make it easier to keep track of what has been watered. So, it feels like I am watering for days.
‘We live in a very small terrace house so trying to keep organised can be difficult, it is constantly messy. Pots, plants, soil and toys are everywhere.
Her dinning around is a plant free zone at the moment with just a single ivy plant draping down from the fridge
The plants are all mostly in the kitchen, which is nice and bright and faces a south west garden
The mum left some parts of her home free from plants so her children can play and enjoy a non cluttered space
‘People always tell me they like my collection but I always wonder if it is a bit much. Am I that crazy plant lady? But really, I don’t mind.
‘I love my jungle. There is just something about surrounding yourself with greenery. It just makes me happy.
‘I have a mixture of common plants and rare, what I like to call posh plants. My most expensive plant was a two-leaf plant for £75 and now you can get a full pot of it for around £25. The price of plants can change so quickly.’
When San started off her indoor tropical paradise, she started off as a novice, now she knows to care for her plants and they are thriving. She has taught herself with the help of Google and Instagram, where she has found a whole plant lovers’ community in London.
San said: ‘I went to my first plant swap not long ago in London which was really cool. It was the first one I have been to and met a lot of people I have connected with over Instagram.
She said when her collection was small, she put up a scaffolding board shelf and then when she got more plants she got more shelves
She has also imported rare plants from overseas like Europe and Ecuador as it was still cheaper than buying in the UK
‘It was really nice to be able to talk about plants with other plant lovers.. Also, it was a great way to share plants without having to spend loads of money.
‘People come with different plants from rare to common. I highly recommend everyone to give it a go.
‘My goal is to one day own a plant cafe zero waste shop. A space for people to come together, have a coffee and learn about eco-friendly ways of living and maybe even buy a plant.
‘I would love to encourage people to buy plants, as more and more people are working from home. Everyone should have their own mini jungle.’