Weekends are for plant shopping, and in 2020: well every day is for plant shopping. On our end, we’ve been trying our best to support our local plant shops by buying plants, gifts and giftscards for family and friends for the holidays. Of course there may have slipped a little plant for ourselves into our shopping basket too. And when we couldn’t find what we were looking for, we shopped online. It’s been a challenging year for all brick & mortar shops, but so far we’ve been impressed by their agility to adjust and open “click & collect” or call & collect” or “pavement pick-up” or “drive-through” shopping options. Not only have we been highlighting the best plant shops around the world on our Instagram account @urbanjungleblog every weekend, we also included a helpful list of plant shops in the Plant Tribe book. So that, once we get to travel again, you can check if there’s a note-worthy plant shop in the place that you’re visiting. There you have it: one of our wishes for 2021.
One of the plant shops that’s in the book and that we warmly recommend is Jane Jardinerie. Actually it’s two shops, as Jane has boutiques in both Nantes and Angers. Anne and Sophie opened their urban garden centers more than four years ago and focus on the vegetable garden, the balcony and the indoor garden. But they don’t only propose a large selection of plants, tools, pots, soil, fertilizer and accessories, but also organize all kinds of workshop around urban gardening. We can’t wait to see what they cook up for 2021 when we can hopefully meet and participate in workshops and events again. For now, have a virtual look around both Jane boutiques and make sure to visit Jane Jardinerie in Nantes or Angers when you’re in the neighborhood.
JANE is a tribute to Jeanne Barret, the first female botanist to tour the world. Widely unknown in France, its history has not left us indifferent… We are in the Age of Enlightenment, in 1766. Jeanne Barret embarks on the first French expedition around the world led by Bougainville to accompany the famous naturalist and botanist, Philibert Commerson, her companion. To go “unnoticed” on board, she decides to disguise herself as a man and take on the identity of Jean Baré, Philibert Commerson’s valet. The trick was discovered in Tahiti and Bougainville soon brought them to Ile de France, known today as Mauritius. Jeanne Barret assists Philibert Commerson in his discovery of new botanical species. He died in Mauritius in 1773, leaving Jane behind. She leads a new life in Saint-Louis and meets Jean Dubernat whom she marries. The couple return to France. Jeanne brings back the botanical harvests of Philibert Commerson intended for the “King’s Garden”, ie 30 cases containing some 5,000 species, of which 3,000 are described as new. King Louis XVI recognized her merits as an assistant botanist and commended her for her good behavior, he designated her as an “extraordinary woman” and paid her a pension. Of her adventure, there will remain traces recorded in the logbook of Bougainville, in the writings of Diderot and her important contribution to the knowledge of botany.
Ok let’s be frank: New York is always worth a trip! No matter your interests, your likings, your plans. The city that never sleeps offers it all – for everybody. So if you are a plant freak like us, you will enjoy the city to the max too. Just like we did a few weeks ago when we went to New York City for an exciting upcoming plant project (stay tuned). We snapped away with our smartphones and brought back some of our favorite green tips for New York – bookmark these if you plan a visit and love plants. Let’s roll!
Let’s first start with some plant shopping. It’s very easy to find some nice plants in the Big Apple! You can go to the Chelsea Flower Market, or visit one of the cool urban plant shops in town. Our list was long and between meetings & lunches we managed to visit quite a few. Our first stop is at the beautiful Green Fingers Market, by talented Satoshi Kawamoto, the Japanese plant artist and creative director behind Green Fingers also known as Satie San. If you like his signature style of unique vintage treasures and plants, make sure to also check out our post about the Green Fingers plant shop in Milan HERE.
We received so many DMs from friends & Urban Jungle Bloggers that we HAD to visit Sprout in Brooklyn. One of their stores in Grand Street is all about dressing a beautiful table and kitchen ware, paired with beautiful greenery. And just across the street you can find their XXL shop with anything planty and floral.
Houseplants in every size, shape and color, a repotting station, cooled flowers, airplants, a really nice selection of ceramics, glassware, plant pots, plant hangers, tools, soils, stones & gems, terrariums and more at this XXL shop with exposed bricks and bright yellow, pink and black accents. The design of the shop is spacious, clean and makes the plants stand out really well. We loved it and fell hard for the Etch planters by Capra Designs, but also purchased some nice smaller ceramics and citrine stones!
Sprout Home – 59 Grand Street – Brooklyn, NY 11249
Coffee and plants are always a good idea! Welcome to Plant Shed where you can sit down for a coffee, treat yourself to a new houseplant, or purchase a freshly picked bouquet for a friend. Or buy one the fun planters, like the Modernica large Mushroom planters:
Plant Shed – 1 Prince St. (at Bowery) – New York, NY 10012
More plants, coffee and flowers… different style! You can shop for all of it at one of the locations of Homecoming. They also stock some really nice books and magazines, ceramics, candles, watering cans, glassware, plaids. Everything to make coming home even nicer!
Plants and coffee are nice, but what about really good vintage designs and plants? The spacious shop of Other Times in Brooklyn has a fantastic selection of vintage furniture (like Danish Design sideboards), lamps, mirrors, planters and books, paired with tall Sansevieira, cereus cacti, Stromanthe triostar, fiddle figs, palms and more… Oh and make sure to check out their cool selection of vintage books as well. The titles are hilarious!
If there is one shop that doesn’t need an introduction, it’s The Sill. They are the best in online marketing and make ordering plants online so easy! They propose the most easy going common houseplants, delivered in their own The Sill ceramics. We visited both locations, on in the Upper Westside, the other one in Chinatown. They just opened a shop in Los Angeles as well. Welcome to The Sill jungle!
The Sill – 84 Hester Street – New York, NY 10002 & 448 Amsterdam Ave – New York, NY 10024 (new location in LA: 8125 W 3rd Street)
Also in China town: this not very fancy, but oh-so-interesting Plant shop called Dahing Plants where our friend Brian took us one night before a just-as-fancy meal (Mac & Cheese spring rolls anyone?!). At Dahing Plants they have a surprising selection of bigger plants, like the XL blooming Jade plants you see in the picture below, for hard-to-beat prices. Definitely worth a visit when you’re looking for something big and affordable in New York:
Plant shopping makes you hungry! Time for a break and indulge in a green café, like at Stonefruit Espresso in Brooklyn. Yummy food and drinks that you can enjoy at the large communal table in the back where you can create your own bouquet of dried flowers, buy a new houseplant, find nice planty accessories, like the pins and keyrings by our friend Samantha from Hemleva.
In the back of the Williamsburg location of Juice Generation you’ll find a huge glass window that gives you a peek into a large urban jungle with real tropical plants. A good idea they put all plants behind glass, because you could get tempted to snap a cutting of one of these 😉
The best freshly roasted coffee, with a large vertical garden with as a backdrop? Go to Devoción Coffee. They roast their own coffee blends, their vertical garden features 150 Colombian native coffee plants and their granola bar is to die for!
Devocíon – 69 Grand St. (at Wythe) – Brooklyn, NY 11249
At Little Park restaurant, in the heart of TriBeCa, they serve seasonal food that highlights local farmers, anglers, vintners, ranchers and foragers. From farm to table, in a nice setting with lush Golden Pothos that create a green curtain in front of the windows:
If you are looking for a fun place to stay in Brooklyn, consider renting a room in The Funky Loft. We met with owner Marcella in her spacious loft in the heart of Bushwick, Brooklyn that looks like a quirky and funky home where you can feel at home, play some funky tunes on the piano, admire the many thriving plants, hang out with other guests, pin your hometown on the custom map, or just relax in your own private room. Funky and good vibes guaranteed!
When you think of visiting your dentist, you probably don’t think of cool plants, stylish design, a home-y feel or staff that makes you feel like friends, Yet, it is exactly what you’ll get when your dentist is called Dr Jennifer Plotnick. Her state-of-the-art practice on Grand Street (neighboring Sprout Plant Shop), called Grand Street Dental makes you want to hang out at your dentist every day. Their selection of plants by the famous Putnam Flowers, are just gorgeous.
And one thing that is on our list wherever we go: to visit the local botanical garden. The NYC Botanical Garden requires some time to get there, but a visit to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden was easier to fit into our schedule. The park outside was in full hibernation mode, but inside the greenhouses it was green and lush, humid and dry. Very inspiring and very Instagrammable too!
– The High Line – An elevated freight rail line transformed into a public park on Manhattan’s West Side. It wasn’t very green when we visited this February, but we were told it’s really nice in Spring and Summer.
– Rooted – 81 Quay St – Brooklyn, NY 11222, USA – The guys that deliver a curated collection of pre-potted plants delivered straight to your door, now also have a brick & mortar shop!
– Greenery NYC – 91 West Street – Brooklyn, NY 11222 – Freshly opened, just days after we left NYC: the world’s first biophilic design store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Photography by Urban Jungle Bloggers This blogpost was not sponsored, we genuinely enjoyed all these green spots!
In these last weeks before the holidays, most of us have been shopping a little bit, to find some special gifts to surprise our loved ones. If you are lucky (or love shopping for yourself!) you may have been plant shopping as well! We did so too! Actually we don’t need any excuse to adopt a new plant, or that one special plant that has been on top of our wishlist for months, but we also love to visit new plant shops when we’re traveling. We do this twice a week “virtually” on our @urbanjungleblog Instagram account where we share the most amazing plant shops from around the world. And today we’re taking you to a new (to us) plant shop in Ghent, Belgium here on the blog.
We stumbled upon this cute and green shop called “Little Green Stories ” in the heart of Ghent by accident: our eyes caught a green shop window with lots of houseplants… and one book: our own Urban Jungle book! Owner Nele recognized us immediately when we entered the shop and showed us around her green universe. And while you don’t see many people in these photos, it was buzzing with plant lovers coming in to buy new plants and ask for plant care tips for their plants at home. That’s what we love most about the plant community: sharing knowledge, nerding about plants: basically having a good time with like minded folks!
As you can see Little Green Stories is a very green shop, with a large choice of aroids, wax plants, cacti, succulents, air plants, as well as many plant pots and baskets to match your green purchases. The selection of plants is completely different from the local garden centers in the area and come with care tips from Nele. She will help you find the plant that matches your lifestyle and living conditions or she can take care of finding you that special plant that you absolutely need to have. Plants that come from growers are usually quite perfect: they grow in perfect warm and bright conditions with plant food and water that is perfectly adapted to their needs. Once they arrive at home, the conditions are different, which changes the growth of a plant. It gives them character, a new shape and a new little green story to tell 😉
Part of the selection of plant accessories stocked at Little Green Stories are from local Belgian designers and artisans, like the Dodecahedron 3D printed pots or the wooden plant stands & furniture from Studio Zaag. We also spotted these nice House Raccoon pots in the shop! Made from a waste product of marble production, they are super soft high quality concrete. For every House Raccoon pot you buy, they plant a tree!
Every plant shop has its own personality, just like their many different shop owners! Some like to propose oversized plants, others prefer cactus & succulents, some have a preference for aroids or subtropical plants or focus on beautiful plant accessories. But one of the things we had never seen before are these posters with easy plant care tips for a large variety of houseplants. Instead of looking up the plants that you bought online or in a plant encyclopedia or book, you can simply snap a picture of the plant you just purchasedat Little Green Stories and you’ll have the first basic care tips. Clever, right?
Calathea lancifolia and Calathea ornata:
Pots and baskets for life!
Thank you Nele for welcoming us in your shop! And to everyone else: if you’re ever in Ghent, don’t miss this cute plant shop!
Little Green Stories
900 Ghent, Belgium
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm
If you have been interested in plants for a while, it’s nearly impossible that you never heard of Satoshi Kawamoto, the Japanese plant artist and creative director behind GreenFingers. Satie San, as he is called by his friends and loved ones, has a unique way of working with greenery, which he explores in the several books that he wrote about plants and styling. He also decorated many shops and department shops around the world, always focusing on making greenery a natural and familiar presence of the surroundings. His style is very recognizable, with a hint of wabi-sabi, lots of natural textures like wood stumps, driftwood, dried mosses, and vintage furniture.
At the end of 2017, well known outdoor brand Woolrich opened their new Milan flagship store of 650m2 where they sell their full collection of outdoor fashion. The flagship store also houses an Extreme Weather Experience room (where you can try the Woolrich outdoor wear) and in the back of the shop, you’ll find a wonderful green plant shop with a small mini garden terrace: Green Fingers.
It’s not just a few cacti here and there, but a true experience of style. Tall Euphorbia and hanging Lepismium Bolivianum plants grow side by side, among flea-market-sourced accessories, Japanese-made housewares, dried greenery and flower wreaths, and some trinkets designed by Satoshi Kawamoto himself. “People who are not interested in plants but who are interested in looking for clothes, may end up buying plants,” And the opposite is true as well “people who are looking for plants may end up buying some well designed Woolrich clothing.”
What makes the GreenFingers shop in Milan different from other plant shops is Satoshi Kawamoto’s signature styling: the styling of the plant around the shop is not glossy and sleek, but lived-in, earthy and a true feast for the eyes. The diversity of plants, the different textures and shapes, in combination with vintage plant pots, ceramic bowls; terracotta planters and dried leaves and flowers make that you discover something new in every corner.
GreenFingers offers plants for any budget, for people with or without* so-called greenfingers: * Just a little side note: we don’t believe in having greenfingers, or a black thumb. If you are willing to invest a little bit of TLC (time, love and care) into your new green friend(s), and if you do your homework, you can have a healthy and thriving jungle at home. More about that in our Urban Jungle book,
Would you rather pick a small Crassula ovata (Jade plant), a spiky cactus plant in a small ceramic planter or one of the many different species of Sansevieria? Isn’t this the coolest DJ-booth ever?Wabi-sabi with Tillandsia airplants in a wooden apothecary cabinet. If you have read our Urban Jungle book, you may recognize this idea from Pepper’s beautiful green home!
“The garden was not built in a day”. These words are tattoed on Satie San’s arm and represent the need for patience when growing something truly inspiring. You can find the text also on T-shirts in the shop. Or rather go for the “Grow Damn It”-shirt if you are still learning about growth and patience *wink wink*. Satoshi Kawamoto’s books about styling and plants are also available:
GreenFingers shop in Woolrich Flagship Store Milano Corso Venezia 3, 20121 Milano MI, Italy Open Monday through Friday 10am – 7pm, Saturday 10am – 8pm, Sunday 11am – 7pm
A few weeks ago we were in Zurich, Switzerland. We were invited to attend the “Textile & Fashion Days” of the Swiss Textile College in Zurich. Why you might wonder? Because their topic this year is called: Urban Jungle! We brought in our plant expertise and spoke about the Urban Jungle Bloggers community and our book and we also hosted a plant hanger workshop. In the evening there was a Slow Fashion Performance in a cool underground urban jungle, full of lush grasses, hostas, greenhouses and soil. You can have a look what that looked liked in our highlighted story on Instagram.
We spent the weekend in Zurich soaking up the first sunshine of the season, made a boat tour on Lake Zurich, indulged in Swiss traditional food (at Zeughauskeller), we enjoyed the finest chocolate and visited some of the greenest places of the city. Read on to discover the places we think you should not miss when you’re planning a trip to Zurich. Get yourself a Zurich Card for free or reduced access to 41 museums, unlimited tram, bus, train and cableway, boat trips and more. Ready? Here we go!
Where to go if you love plants?
Old Botanical Garden
We start with a walk in the park in the Old Botanical Garden in the middle of the city. The small greenhouse (closed to the public) houses a nice collection of tropical plants that you can admire through the glass. For more parks and gardens in Zurich, check out the Visit Zurich website here.
Botanical Garden and the Greenhouse Domes
With around 7000 different plant species spread over an area of about 53,000 m2 there is always something to see in the Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich. The most interesting part of the garden for us Urban Jungle Bloggers are the tropical greenhouse domes with their lush foliage and desert plants. Make sure to visit before 17:00, as the tropical greenhouses close earlier than the garden. A bummer, because we missed visiting the inside of the domes, which looked gorgeous from the outside!
This is a succulent lover’s dream! Open since 1931, the “Succulent Collection Zurich” houses one of the largest collections of succulent plants in Europe. In the seven greenhouses you can walk past the entire collection that consists of 4500 different species from 78 plant families. Take at least an hour (or better… a few!) to wander around the greenhouses and admire the huge variety of textures, shapes and colours of all the plants on display. The Sukkulenten Sammlung is located at a 20 minute walk from the city center, and a nice break from the buzzing city life.
Masaola Rainforest in the Zurich Zoo
In this tropical “mini rainforest ecosystem”, you get to experience animals in their natural habitat. Covering a total area of 11,000 m2, it is home to geckos, turtles, snakes, parrots and many other rainforest creatures. All information about the Rainforest in the Zoo, can be found HERE.
Where to eat & drink?
This is what you would call a real Urban Jungle Bloggers café: a nice selection of yummy sandwiches and salads that you can enjoy in a hip urban jungle with dozens of (real!) plants. The vibrant color of the interior of Pause match the green of the foliage. Not to be missed if you’re in the neighborhood!
Neni Zurich West
In the cool 25 Hours Hotel Zurich, with its jungle-ish hotel lobby, you’ll find the Zurich West location of restaurant Neni (they also have a location at the Langstrasse). Neni serves dishes from all around the world, but have a slightly Oriental vibe. Think: humus, spring rolls, hamshuka, Tel Aviv streetfood, falafel, Korean fried chicken, Romanian Sakuska… Yummm!
The world’s first vegetarian restaurant according to the Guiness Book of Records is in Zurich! And it is named Hiltl! No wonder their various spots across the city boost with plants and greenery for an extra cool and healthy lunch break! Also check out their rooftop terrace and bar in the city center as well as their cute café/bar in a flower shop. All locations can be found HERE.
When a place is called “The Artisan – Kitchen & Urban Garden” you know it is the right spot for any Urban Jungle Blogger, right? Delicious food, good coffee, a relaxed atmosphere and of course lots of greenery define this place. Go check it out when in Zurich – you can find The Artisan HERE.
photography by Urban Jungle Bloggers, except credited above