Her Instagram, @la_sidhu, gives us serious botanical envy, so naturally we caught up with Natasha to talk our favourite topic – plants
Tell us a bit about yourself…
My names Natasha and I’m a content creator and product stylist from London who loves nothing more than spending hours treasure hunting for unique and interesting finds at flea markets and caring to my never ending jungle collection in our desert inspired home in London. My love for exotic botanics and natural materials has enabled me to create a paradise Infused home that immediately transports us to far more exotic climates and really homes in on looking after your mental wellbeing.
What sparked your love affair with plants?
I’d always watched and admired my Dad’s love for gardening and caring for his plants as I was growing up. He would spend hours tending to his flora and foliage and every summer I would stand back in awe as our family garden erupted into the most delicious sight of flowers and vegetables. Four years ago we brought our very first home and I welcomed our very first plant and was immediately amazed at how much greenery can transform a space and enhance your mood so I was officially bitten by the jungle bug and haven’t looked back since!
What’s the first plant you loved?
My very first plant was a cactus. I’ve always been drawn to them for the weird and wonderful ways they grow and I adore them for rekindling past travel memories to exotic parts of the world that we’ve visited and fallen in love with. I didn’t really have much cacti experience when I first started building up my jungle club so a lot of what I learnt about them was from trial and error, but now I’ve come to realise that they mirror a lot of what I feel I need as a human to grow and live a happy life! Plenty of warmth from the sun, a lot of natural bright light and a good watering every now and then.
And your absolute favourite plant now?
Over the last year I’ve been working on a full desert inspired home revamp. I really wanted our home to have a zen, calming atmosphere so I’ve been experimenting with colours, textures and natural fibre decor to really relax the mind and enhance the senses. I’m always drawn to big luscious, leafy greens as I feel they have such wonderful benefits on your mindset as well as mood, and one jungle babe that’s been ticking all the boxes for me right now is the beautiful Bird of Paradise. There’s something so majestic about that their enormous fan shaped silky leaves and their powerful stance that commands your attention and immediately makes you fall in love.
How would you describe your plant/ interior style?
Our home definitely reflects our love for travel and is a concoction of some of our most favourite parts of the world. I’m not one to tend to follow trends as such, I prefer to combine elements that I’m not only drawn to aesthetically, but that also improve my mental wellbeing which I think is extremely important – especially for something who’s living space is also their working office, too. Bali without a doubt will always be a part of the world I hold very close to my heart and I knew I wanted to Inject a little Balinese life into our everyday living as soon as I stepped foot there, so you’ll notice lots of banana leaf and raffia decor dotted around the home that reminds me of our adventures. One of my favourite parts of the world is also Amsterdam. I fall a little more in love with that dreamy city on every visit and honestly believe it’s a part of the globe that just has everything down to a T. Their endless offerings of open green spaces, eclectic vintage shops and bustling flea markets, their creative spaces and breath-taking homes. Loft living is huge in Amsterdam so I wanted to pay homage to that by having a big exposed brick feature wall that I’ve always dreamed of having since first visiting. Ours is actually replicated with wallpaper, but it definitely gives that vibe and also makes for the perfect backdrop for all my plants and treasures!
The desert elements are hugely Morocco inspired and although I have yet to visit (watch this space!) I have always been completely in awe of a place that is full of SO much charm, culture and character... and not to forget, CACTI!
These destinations combined with their most commonly associated plants, have really enabled us to create a living space that makes us feel like we are constantly on holiday which is something I absolutely love!
What’s your plant mantra?
My top tip for plant lovers is that growing your jungles is all about trail and error – experiment with ideas, give things a go and most importantly ENJOY it. Us proud plant parents can end up spending a few pretty pennies on perfecting our green gangs and adding to our collection, so it can be devastating when your favourite plant declines or things don’t go wrong. Not every plant will thrive and last a lifetime, but just dedicating time to care for them and doing your best is enough.
I find the plant community to be one of the friendliest out there, so if you’re struggling at all, reach out to others who also share a love for the jungle life and I’m sure they will be on hand to offer any advice or support.
What's next on your wishlist?
We’re currently busy making plans for a full desert inspired garden revamp – my dream is to create a cosy and tropical style courtyard in our back garden. Think huge terracotta urns, earthy textures, teak, bamboo, water features and of course... lots of leafy greens! I really would love to have a huge outdoor palm and an olive tree. I’ve also been really looking into growing a strelitzia outdoors in the UK. We have quite a small house and garden so space is quite limited so I don’t have the option to bring my plants indoors during winter, so I’m on the hunt for tips and tricks from UK growers who have had great success with climatising large exotic plants for all year outdoor enjoyment.
Can you give us one top plant tip?
Don’t be scared to go against the guidelines...People are usually quite shocked to know that here in the UK, 99 percent of the houseplants I have introduced to our garden all year round, are in actual fact thriving and growing a million times better than they ever did indoors. I have a huge outdoor succulent rockery which honestly brings me so much joy. Over on my Instagram page I share lots of tips and tricks for growing your succulent club outdoors all year round and I really believe that sometimes, the best outcomes are from simply giving things a go.
Aloes are another top plant pick of mine and you’ll nearly always be advised to grow them indoors in the UK, but I have several huge ones growing outdoors that have tripled in since this year and started out as a small indoor houseplant.
Some experiments won’t be successful and that’s ok, but giving something a go and then reaping the rewards is worth every second In my opinion.
For more from Natasha, follow @la_sidhu