White Concrete Planter


Now there are two huge, HUGE trends this season. One is new and one has been bubbling for a while. It is the latter which concerns us here. Oh you want to just check you know what the first one is? Velvet. That’s the first one. Sitting on it, wearing it, generally draping both yourself and the house in it. At a dinner with last week, they told me their velvet chairs are flying out of the door. Which is good news as I may have a little announcement on that front coming soon…

Anyway, enough of that. The other trend, which, as I say, has been stealthily making its way into our homes for a little while now, is botanicals. That’s plants to you and me but it’s called botanicals because that way they can splash it all over the furniture and cushions and have a fancy name for it. Green basically.


Someone once told me (and she’s a stylist so she knows this) that it’s not that the trends change every season, just the names. So you can buy things that are so-called on trend and as long as you change their name the following year they will still be just as fashionable. That is if we care about such mundane things as trends. Which we don’t. Ahem. Anyway tropical/botanical/nature call it what you will, there are a lot of house plants about.

After years of plants being screamingly unfashionable and fit only for student houses and dusty granny flats, suddenly no self-respecting interior can be seen without one. One of the most the sought after (and temperamental I might add) is the fiddle leaf fig. Now these are expensive because they are big. I have a large one. It’s as tall as me and I am five ft  6. It cost me £75. That seemed a lot for a plant but it’s been five months and it’s doing well and growing taller.


The other day I dropped into the shop where I bought it to buy some flowers and was chatting to the owner. He showed me the only fiddle leaf fig he had been able to get hold of in recent weeks. I went over to inspect it and screamed.

“FOURHUNDREDANDFIFTYBLOODYQUIDYOUR’EMENTAL,” I shouted. As politely as it’s possible to scream and swear at the same time. To someone one has hardly met before, much less been properly introduced to.

“Ahem,” I said, hastily buying more flowers by way of apology. “No-one will pay that surely.”

Well it turned out that Celine, the fashion house that is, not the woman from two doors down, had put fiddle leaf figs in all its stores and now the beautiful fashionable people can’t get enough of them. Which means the gardener people can’t grow them fast enough. Which means shortage. Which means insane prices.


Still, you don’t have to have one of those. They are, as I say, temperamental. I am worried that mine won’t make it through the winter. Still at £75 it was a bargain. On the other hand, it if does survive it will be worth a fortune. But if you are going to fill your house with plants, and they absorb all those unhealthy rays from computer screens by the way so you should, you will need pots to put them in.

These are all from thefuturekept. I have told the fiddle leaf fig that if it makes it through the cold months, it can have have a gold paper bag as a reward. It was thrilled. It practically leafed on the spot.



Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.

1 Comment

  1. You do make me laugh 🙂
    I have always had indoor plants – I know, I am not very fashionable – now down to a few spider plants and an elderly weeping fig that one of my sons bought me for Mother’s Day when he was 7 yrs old. It was all they had left at the shop! Some had to go because they got scale and no matter what I could not get rid of it. I do like those concrete planters, though having moved to a house with underfloor heating I am finding it difficult in all sorts of ways. Maybe you can research underfloor heating!

Comments are closed.