Feeling green: indoor plants.

It is with some disappointment that I’m writing about indoor plants today.  Surely, 23 months after signing our building contract, 14 months after site works started and 11 months after slab down, I should be writing about progress with the house.  According to the original schedule, which I did promise to take with a grain of salt, we should be doing the pre-handover inspection this week.  Here is how House By The Water looked on the weekend:

House facade with sealed render.

So far from completion…Waiting for textured render and windows (at rear).

Webb and Brown-Neaves, our builders, are 5 months off schedule!  I’ve been reassured that some time can be made up and I believe it, so I was very disappointed to learn that nothing has been done for a week.

I’m feeling rather blue about this.

My expiry date in Brazil does not change so this week I’ve been growing piles around the home in preparation for packing.  I’ve been working on our air shipment pile.  It includes a few special things I’ve been saving for the new house.  I’ve also been recording the dimensions of some of our furniture, so that we can work out where it will all go in advance of its arrival in Australia.  And, for pure pleasure, I’ve  drawn up the plan for “what will go where” in the new kitchen.  (Thanks for the idea, Lunar at Majestic 40 at Gardener’s Ridge.)

And to change my mood from blue to green, I’ve been dreaming about indoor plants.

My Top 5 Indoor Plants


Potted olive tree.

I just can’t go past the silvery colour of olive tree foliage. Source: House to Home.


Orchids in bathroom.

Potted orchids last so much longer than a vase of cut flowers. Source: Inside Out.

Maiden hair fern

Maiden hair fern.

Pretty and delicate. Source: Design Sponge.


Basil, coriander, parsley, etc. I use herbs so much that the real supply will be in the veggie patch. A pot or two in the scullery will mostly be aesthetic. Source: Divine Caroline.

Basil, coriander, parsley, etc. I use herbs so much that the real supply will be in the veggie patch. A pot or two in the scullery will mostly be aesthetic. Source: Divine Caroline.

Weeping fig.

No, I didn’t miss the memo that it’s fiddle-leaf figs that are all the rage.  I do like figs.  In fact, I was once broken hearted by a fig that had to be cut down.  I’ve had these weeping figs in pots before.  I like their pretty leaf and they are resilient.  Fiddle leaf figs are pretty cool too, but maybe a bit too cool.  I’m quite sure that they are growing like weeds on every roadside around here in Brazil.  Readers, don’t let your fiddles out of their pots – they grow big and only look so-so when they have free range.  Your neighbours might get grumpy.

By the time we move into House By The Water (zzzzz…..) we’ll have missed the outdoor planting season, so I’ll be keen for a bit of indoor green.  I might even splash out for a largish potted tree in our living area, where it can give us a give us some afternoon shade until I sort out a more permanent window treatment solution.  Dare I say it can double as our, ahem, tree that is decorated at a certain time of year.  I think a nice olive tree might be perfect.

Potted olive tree.

An olive tree. Peace. Source: Brown Design Inc.  (Feature photo at top:  The Guardian.)


27 thoughts on “Feeling green: indoor plants.

  1. The large trees in pots are very striking, especially with the concrete container in that last photo. A large olive sounds nice for a lovely sunny corner at HBTW. Here’s an (unsolicited) list of plants that have managed to survive indoors at my place: kentia palm, sansevieria/snake plant, rubber fig, mistletoe cactus, peace lily, chili peppers, peperomia, maidenhair fern and baby panda bamboo. (The last three sit on the edge of the bathtub.) Have fun checking out nurseries when you’re in WA!

    • You can give me unsolicited lists any time Steph. I think you have a green thumb! I have to admit that I’m a bit prejudiced when it comes to plants and trees and I rule out all palms! You have a couple on your list that I don’t know and will check out, but also a couple that I don’t like! Ha, ha. (I think we’ve been bloggy friends long enough to be honest.) On the other hand, I think I love every plant on your veggie patch list and your front garden list.

      • No offense taken, especially since a couple of those plants were gifts. 😉 (The peperomia and baby panda bamboo. Google that last one! Comes with bonus photos of actual baby pandas.) Peace lilies aren’t my favourite thing ever, but they’re useful for adding a bit of green to low-light areas.

  2. Rita says:

    Oh Johanne…
    So sorry to read that things are running so far behind, there is nothing more soul destroying. I agree with Nat, hang in there…
    Not perhaps the best advertising for WBN, disappointing since you have been so generous in their direction.

    “Even thou the wait is long… The dream does not end!”

    • Thanks Rita. I’d still be cool about it all, if it wasn’t for the prospect of sourcing and paying for short term accommodation during holiday season. What’s your prediction? Can they handover in November? I’m hanging out to use that oven at Christmas.

  3. And all those pots are gorgeous too!!!
    What are WBN doing to improve the situation?? 5 months late?? Really??
    From your Too-cool-fiddle-leaf-fig-owning Sister Kate xxx

    • I feel like sending Bob the builder in for a little pep talk. November completion? “Can we do it? Yes we can!” (Insert musical notes.) I think Domayne have those pots in the first olive tree pic, if you are interested in that one. xxx

  4. Africadayz says:

    I love the Olive trees in pots! Didn’t know they’d survive indoors. I completely empathize with how you’re feeling about the building delays, Jo. We ran a full year over schedule. It’s intensely frustrating. And the thing is, two months after moving in, we still have workmen (from the contractors) here daily. I hope you can find a temporary base close to your new house from which you can monitor progress daily. Hang in there.

  5. trixee says:

    5 months behind schedule is pretty bad. Maybe they’ll start working faster when you start camping onsite and they can all see your disgruntled face.
    I’ve never considered an olive tree in a pot, but I like the idea! They are quite ornamental. I used to have a weeping fig too, it was my very first indoor plant and I loved it! I confess to also liking it more than the fiddle leaf fig. My prediction is that they will be back in fashion before long.

  6. joan55555 says:

    Just before you were born Johanne we built our first home. A $14,000 Oxford dream home. No I did not leave out a zero. In my mustard and red decorated kitchen I had a magnificent monstera deliciousa pot plant. Someone hated it but I loved it. Each time we moved , the plant came too. Forty plus years later and in house number four the monstera is hiding under the deck. It is metres high , flowers each year and neither the most severe frost nor the man who doesn’t like it has defeated it. Would you like a cutting?

  7. Mrs. T says:

    Sorry to hear that building is so far behind, it will be worth the wait.
    I loved all those photos of indoor plants – I was also eyeing up some of the other features in those rooms :).
    For me, I’ll always have a soft spot for the Maidenhair fern as Mum has had one growing in a large terracotta pot in the bathroom for decades (same fern, so I’m impressed).
    Good luck with the packing.

  8. I too am sorry to hear your building is so far behind schedule. Hopefully once you are back in Oz and can crack the whip at them they will rise to the challenge.
    I like your indoor plant choices especially the olive tree. Unfortunately I was death to inside plants in the UK. A combination of central heating, cats an me managed to kill every orchid and weeping fig I ever owned.
    I’ll take a virtual cutting of your Mum’s Monstera as it brings back happy memories of the one my mother had.

  9. Lydia says:

    Soooo frustrating! Hope they can move it along a bit, and I’m sure once you get there it will be easier to ‘motivate’ them!
    Shame you won’t be able to have a Christmas tree as your first indoor plant.
    Would never have thought that an olive would do well inside – would look great in a large room.
    Also love maidenhair ferns

  10. Sarah says:

    5 months! So is that October is completely off the cards and you are now looking at Feb 2016 like me? Thats pretty crappy.

    We are heading away from 20-27 Dec so if you are stuck for accom …. you are welcome to crash here in our very ‘special’ early 90’s 3br, 2 bath villa unit where all the other residents of the unit complex are 70+. Close to Cottesloe beach and also Swan RIver, A/C, yard with trampoline. Am I selling you on the idea???

    • No, no, no Sarah! I expect them to do 5 months work in the next 8 weeks. They have told me that they are still working towards completion in November. Thank you for your offer. It actually sounds great!

  11. Miranda says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about the delays. After all the time and effort you’ve put into organisation on your side, that must be very frustrating.
    Trying to look for positives, at least this way you’ll be around to closely supervise the post-lockup work. Based on our experience, you want to watch more closely once they’re doing things you’ve personalised (like your interior selections), as this is what they’re more likely to get wrong.
    That’s a lovely selection of plants though. I think a Christmas tree may have been the first greenery that we had inside our new house, but we’re doing a bit better on that front now.

    • Thanks Miranda. I’m always happy to hear your perspective on the situation since you lived to tell the tale! You saved me emailing you. I hope you are enjoying your new house.

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