One million cactus plants
As you know, cacti are my absolute favorite plants... (together with palm trees of course!!). If you're like me and live in a place where cacti don't grow everywhere, there are several places where you can go to admire cactus plants. Your local botanical garden is a good start. In Paris, for example, we have the wonderful Serres d'Auteuil and the Jardin des Plantes. Shops specialized in cacti are another good option, also to get yourself some new prickly friends. Les Succulents Cactus in Paris is really nice, but Kaktus København and Hot Cactus LA are also on my wishlist. Last year I visited the Cactus Oase in Holland, which is quite awesome and relatively similar to a botanical garden, cactus-wise ;)
The place that I want to show to you today, is slightly different. This weekend I visited a cactus grower in Holland, that has over a million of cactus plants in stock. ONE MILLION CACTI! It looks very much like the Dutch tulip fields, but with cacti and some succulents! As you can imagine, I was going all aaaaaahhh and ooooohhhhh and I couldn't stop taking pictures... obviously! I mean patterns, cacti, colors:
The cactus "fields" are beautiful and look like they're never ending. The plants at this nursery come from all over Europe, the US, Mexico, South America. They arrive here to be potted and to grow bigger before they are send off to big chain stores and garden centers in Europe. Otto, the owner, really likes cacti ever since he lived in Portugal, but his true passion are South African caudex plants. He has a smaller selection of very rare plants on one big "table" and there are some real gems on there, if you like these kind of plants. Personally, I'm not really into rare plants. Big Opuntia that are considered as weed in some places in the world, make me really happy and so do most random cacti.
However, there is one cactus plant that has been on my wishlist for years. I have never seen them this big for sale in Europe, but I found them on the "rare plants" table! It is called the Opuntia violacae Julienne (or Santa Rita) with nice purple colored pads. For a while I hesitated to get some unrooted pads from Arizona via Etsy, but I'm happy that I found some at the cactus nursery. Now let's hope they'll feel at home here in France with us and start blooming soon!
Join me for a virtual tour of the cactus nursery, which is quite impressive:
These cuties remind me of Midsommar flower crowns:
This made me laugh out loud: thousands of cactus bunnies, als known as Opuntia microdasys. Don't they look cute?
Some rare caudex plants from South Africa and Madagascar:
Dozens of Euphorbia and Cereus peruvianus ready to be shipped!
The permanent cactus plants on the left, planted in the soil of the greenhouse, and thousands of potted cacti growing tall and waiting to be sold and adopted, on the right:
Cactuskwekerij van der Linden in Honselerdijk in the Netherlands is open by appointment only (usually on Saturday). All details here or via Marktplaats (Dutch Craigslist).
Take Time for Spring!
Spring is here! Years ago when we were in the middle of the renovation and didn't have proper heating, I always felt like I could finally heave a sigh of relief: we survived winter! There was still a risk of cold weather in April, but sunshine and warmth were coming. Now that the days of frozen showercream are gone, I still feel much better when winter is over. The fields in the forests near to our home are full of narcissus, and the other day I lay in the grass for an hour to soak up the first rays of sunshine. Much needed and it felt amazing. I'm also planning a few fun trips in the next weeks and finally: a real holiday in April & May. Time to relax and to take time for anything but work. Because 2016 (and 2017!) was intense work-wise. Very fun, very exciting, very rewarding, but also very exhausting.
Take Time is also the name of the new wall clock designed by Pepe Heykoop for Tiny Miracles. It's made of coated paper and hand folded by the Indian women supported by the Tiny Miracles Foundation.
Tiny Miracles is an innovative social company based in Holland with the ambition to develop a working business model to break poverty cycles in any community in the world. Their new clocks are made in one of the most impoverished areas of Mumbai, India where the Pardeshi community lives and the purpose is to make sure that this community will be self-sufficient in 10 years.
You may already know Tiny Miracles and their well known paper vase, the clocks are new and come in some fresh designs, like Delft blue, flowers, all kinds of pastels and black. I picked the mint green gradient one, because it felt like a good fit for spring. Before going on the wall, I styled it in my plantshelfie. What do you think?
One of my most cherished plants, the zig zag cactus I got last year, started growing a long new stem, without its characteristic zig zags (for now):
Mister Euphorbia is doing well and ready to grow some new shoots soon:
Another Spring staple in our home are tiny Muscari, they even have their own little gin-cup-vase:
What are your plans for Spring?
Full disclosure: the Take Time clock was sent to me by Tiny Miracles, but as always: all photos and opinions (and the choice to blog about it or not!) are my own.
La Manufacture Parisienne in Paris
On an impromptu walk through the 18th arrondissement in Paris, I passed by a particularly green shopwindow and just had to take a peek inside. It turns out La Manufacture Parisienne is not only a green little paradise, it's also a really good shop if you're looking for a gifts or something nice for your home. Be prepared for lots of ceramics, paper art, cushions, small furniture, mirrors, books, candles, lamps and notebooks.
It's eclectic, stylish, cute, green, design-y and even quite French! Lots of products are from French makers, like Y'a pas le feu au lac, VOLTA Paris or Rouge du Rhin. Every two months the entire shop changes its look, I was very lucky to visit now that the botanical theme is so well represented. Make sure to visit La Manufacture Parisienne on your next visit to Paris, or pass by if you're in the neighborhood (18ème). Go for a delicious lunch at the cool Abattoir Végétal and get a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers are the lovely Mémé dans les Orties.
So without further ado, have a look around:
Can you guess what caught my eye? Yes, it's those lovely ceramic plates by Véronique Le Besnerais:
Papercut botanical leaves and embroidered brooches (left) from Macon & Lesquoy:
The paper diamonds by Sophie Morille:
La Manufacture Parisienne /// 93 rue Marcadet /// 75018 Paris /// +331 42 64 76 29
Open every tuesday to saturday from 11:00 to 19:30
Casa Bonay in Barcelona
I've said it before, but I seriously can't wait for the day that teleportation becomes reality. Like at this very moment: I'd love to be in Barcelona right now for a drink at the gorgeous Casa Bonay! To sit back and relax in one of their comfy velvet couches, staring at the beautiful Cirio Circular lights from Santa & Cole and enjoy some good company.
During our Sunny Design Days tour through Spain last year, Nina Masó from Santa & Cole took us to Casa Bonay after visiting the amazing Parc de Belloch just outside Barcelona. She wanted to show us the Santa & Cole products in a real setting and introduce us to this wonderful place that is called Casa Bonay. It is really a family house, in the middle of the Eixample Dret and first opened its doors in 1869. And now, almost 150 years later, it is a place to have fun. You can sleep here in one of the comfortable rooms of the hotel, have cocktails in the beautiful lobby/bar/café, do some shopping, enjoy a delicious Asian dinner, enjoy the view on the rooftop, read a book or magazine, or get some really good coffee at the neighbors from Satan's. Sounds pretty good, right?!
When Nina told us more about what Casa Bonay is all about, one of the main things that made a real impression on me, is that the owners gathered a team of creatives to work with, based on how much they liked them. They work with friends. Of course they kept the results of re-opening Casa Bonay in mind, but the process of creating this new place was just as important. They worked with Nina from Santa & Cole for all the lights, Mucho for their graphic design, Basta Basta for the uniforms of the staff and wallpaper and pillow covers, Alejandra the gardener, Marc Morro for furniture and many more. It makes that the place doesn't only look good, it feels really nice and welcoming too.
CASA BONAY in their own words:
Let’s have some fun.
The awesome fabrics from Basta Basta are used for some of the pillows in the lobby bar:
For the best coffee in Barcelona, head to the neighbors at Satan's Coffee:
So who's in? Cocktails at Casa Bonay in 15 minutes from now? Let's teleport there straight away!
Casa Bonay /// Gran Vía de les Corts Catalanes 700 /// 08008 Barcelona /// +34 93 545 80 70
boutique hotel - shop - music - restaurant - rooftop - shop
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