Oh yes, I am a child of the Seventies. Velvet bell-bottoms, corduroy flares, cheesecloth smock-tops, James Taylor, Carole King, Annie Hall, The Poseidon Adventure, Vesta curries, Angel Delight, Cinzano and house plants.
It's only recently that I've begun to wonder where all the indoor plants have gone. No-one seems to have them any more. No spider plants, Swiss cheese plants, rubber plants, weeping figs or winter cherries, all of which I had in my bedroom, while I dreamed of owning and cultivating an aspidistra (mainly because of the title of a novel by George Orwell) which was beyond my budget.
I loved having things growing inside. I can completely understand why people potter about with little scissors and watering cans, snipping away, deadheading, fussing over buds and leaves. I liked spider plant leaves bending over books on my bookcase, I found it incredibly exciting when a new cheese plant leaf unfurled (a rare occurrence), and I even cleaned and polished my rubber plant. I learned the basics of gardening by keeping pot plants, and still think hormone rooting powder has magical properties (and a fabulous name). I also learned how not to keep certain plants; my success rate with African violets was abysmal.
We had indoor plants for years until Tom learned to crawl and his favourite destination was the aspidistra I'd finally been able to acquire and even bring with us when we moved to Germany. I thought it would be a good way to teach him the meaning of 'no', but he took scant notice and carried on dismantling it, leaf by leaf. We gave up completely when Alice started to crawl soon after and they combined forces to destroy anything that took their fancy.
But I'm wondering if pot plants are coming back into fashion and our homes. When we were at Columbia Road flower market recently, Phoebe bought some lovely little succulents for her windowsill in her hall of residence, and there are more articles (like this) and posts (like this) which suggest more people have more potted greenery indoors. I don't, unless you count the pots of basil I'm growing, but think maybe I should, especially as a few would work very well with the house plant quilt I made recently.
This was inspired by a Marimekko fabric ('Ikunaprinssi', above) which would have been brilliant in my teenage bedroom (recoloured in a groovy 70s palette). It made me think of all the indoor plants I grew and loved, and I decided a piece would be a great start point for a quilt. It's such a big repeat that no two squares were the same, and I added in cord and velvet, some tweed and a few Japanese linen/cotton designs to keep it all quite weighty. I hand-quilted it with cotton perlé 8 in several shades of gold and orange, and backed it with an indigo print featuring little rabbits.
Because, of course, like everyone else, I read Watership Down in the Seventies.