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Apparently, 1970s houseplants are back!


Do any of you watch ‘Back In Time For Dinner’ ? I do enjoy it. This series has been 20th Century. The 1970s decade house was amazing…everything was bright orange and green. Psychedelic wallpaper, ercol furniture etc…and so many shiny green houseplants. I found it ever so lovely, but nothing like my memories of the brown, drab 1970s that I grew up in. Anyway, shortly after I saw that programme, I found a posting on Facebook about a young woman who has filled her apartment with hundreds of beautiful houseplants and now opens it up for New Yorkers to come and meditate! It was really beautiful. A sanctuary in the Big Apple. Then..I saw something else that claimed that 1970s houseplants are very much the ‘In’ thing. So that was three messages all giving me the nudge to get more houseplants. And three is enough for me!

My living room sofa and chair are terracotta, and green is the perfect colour to bring them to life, so it seemed a great idea to invest in some living interior decoration!

Heres a photo of plant corner as it is now….

Perhaps somebody can ID the gorgeous multi-coloured plant for me. Thats the one I bought last week. They never label houseplants adequately in the GC.

Today was 20% off everything at the GC, and I had vouchers, so I treated myself to a couple of lovely dark red glazed pots and three more little houseplants for the kitchen window. The Aeonium nigra was labelled, but I could do with some help on the other two if anyone knows what they are.

Its freezing cold here today. Fine for a long walk in the sun this morning, but an icy blanket over the whole garden. I’ve put fleece jackets over my Fatshedera lizei. Thank goodness the Dahlias are all in the greenhouse. Just in the nick of time!

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Previous post: November Jobs - Dahlias and Roses

Next post: Not too bleak Mid-Winter



Karen, I think your penultimate photo shows a Nerve plant (Fittonia), a small indoor plant. My memories of the 70's indoor/office plants are rubber plants, macrame hangers for small pots and Swiss cheese plants!!

Also, orange was THE colour of the decade, maybe that's why I dislike it so much ...

11 Nov, 2017


They are all lovely Karen. Thank you for sharing your November enthusiasm, reminding us all to have a look at the GC to see what is on offer. I never worry about plant names, just love the shapes and colours.

11 Nov, 2017


Lovely plants Karen. That multi coloured one is stunning.

I think the plant after the aeonium is some variety of peperomia, not sure though.

I always struggle with houseplants here. Most of our windows are north or west facing so light can be problematic.

11 Nov, 2017


Same here Sam!
You have a very attractive collection there Karen! Our house wasn't designed with house-plants in mind and we are short of suitable windowsills. I have one peace lily in and my controversial orchid in the sitting room, one ancient neglected begonia in the bathroom and a rather dreadful Swiss Cheese plant in the conservatory, which also has my Christmas and other few cacti.
Yours look great, and so bursting with health! Fashions in houseplants seem a strange idea - have 'em if you like 'em, whatever they are!

11 Nov, 2017


Hypoestes phyllostachya or the polka dot plant is the green and pink one. I had one in my lab for years and regularly took cuttings.
I know the other one but cant bring it to mind.

11 Nov, 2017


Hi Shirley, thanks. Fittonia is right. Now I shall be able to care for it. :*

Thanks Diane :)

Sam, I would think North facing would be great for shade loving foliage plants as the light is more even and no direct sun.

Stera, thanks. One of the nice things about this house is the windowsills which are about 18” deep in the old part which is stone built so very thick walls. But upstairs we have velux sills at all!

11 Nov, 2017


Hello Cottagekaren

Your first picture resembles a Croton , probably one of the 'Aurora' hybrids . A striking foliage plant .

11 Nov, 2017


Hi Paul! Thanks so much. I looked it up and you are spot on. Croton ‘Mrs Iceton’ is its name! Thank you! :)

12 Nov, 2017


I have a lot of Begonias with nice leaves. That is very 70s too. The boys have been buying 70s furniture in Sweden. It is very cheap there......everyone goes to Ikea and buys new.

12 Nov, 2017


There used to be a restorer in Guardbridge Linda..don't know if he's still there, but last time we went he had some cracking Ercol pieces and he makes a fine job of his restorations. You'd struggle to get bargains here wouldn't you...everyone loves a bit of retro!

12 Nov, 2017


A super selection of plants there Karen, our garden room is full to bursting with plants at the moment, too many really, but not having a greenhouse, they have to come inside,so they don't look as attractive as your display.....

12 Nov, 2017


Do you know you described my house Karen, in the 70's we had an orange ceiling in the sitting room, the walls were two design, huge dinnerplate type pattern, yellow, orange and brown on a white background across the fireplace and in the alcoves, the other three walls were matching colours in zigzag pattern, lol, also had a floor to ceiling Swiss Cheese plant, doesn't bear thinking about now but in those days we'd paid a lot of money for that wallpaper as it was the in look. We have a cringing feeling when looking at old photo's.
Lovely plants Karen..

13 Nov, 2017


George, my lovely plant (that was) alas, is no more. I We finally had to get rid of it. It was our daughter's and. like her cats, we inherited the plant. It was lovely at one point and I am sure this was because it was situated near an Ioniser. After the latter gave up the ghost George was never the same.

My Aloe Vera plant is on a North facing window and LOVES it. I am forever having to pick up bits that fall off and my patient OH re -pots them. One year I placed some of these in a sunny spot and lost the lot!

My MIL had quite a few Ercol pieces and they always looked nice. We had G plan and my father was very scathing of them. I explained they were "contemporary" but he insisted on calling them "temporary"!

Like your Plant Corner, Karen. May I copy that?

13 Nov, 2017


Of course you can Eirlys! G-Plan is still made. We have G Plan sofa and recliner, bought it about 3 years ago. Excellent furniture! :) must have been so posh! lol!

13 Nov, 2017


Eirlys, you made me smile at a memory of when we used to go & visit my Nana & she would proudly show us her new curtains & cushion covers, ''They are 'contemporary' '', she would say. You don't hear that word these days.

Orange & green were the colours to have back then. I also remember that brick wall paper over the fireplace & rubber plants as well as the Swiss Cheese one (Monstera Deliciosa) must have been the first plant name I learnt.

14 Nov, 2017


Karen, we also have GPlan sofas and they are COMFORTABLE!. Over the years we have bought ( and regretted), many sofas and settees but the GPlan ones we have now are the best.
The GPlan in the late Fifties were well-made actually.

LincsLass and Green_finger: Did you have that "painting" of the Oriental woman with the green face?

14 Nov, 2017


Oh I well remember her! Never had one thank goodness. There was also one of a little boy with tear rolling down his cheek too - remember that one?
We had an orange and green carpet - most were patterned then. It was a great bargain at the local market and I quite liked it at first- glad to see the back of it eventually.

14 Nov, 2017


Wow, memories!! We had an orange and white kitchen for a while, with lino on the floor, for the younger generation that's a forerunner of vinyl, but not so posh!
I remember the patterned carpets too Stera and we had a suite of teak furniture when I first married - dining table, four chairs, matching sideboard and three-piece suite for less than a hundred pounds delivered! The settee had a cover made for it of orange, green and yellow - bright and in your face. the sideboard had two cupboards either end and three drawers down the centre, the good thing about that was the doors slid sideways, so when my daughter got to the nosy age, a slight nudge of the doors and the drawers couldn't be opened!
Again we had house-plants, but like you Stera we have few windowsills that are suitable, mind you the orchids love the north-west one.

14 Nov, 2017


Oh yea! Teak forests must have been decimated during the 70s! It is a very orange wood! Actually a very beautiful wood, but you don’t see much these days. Everything is Oak now...nothing wrong with Oak though!

15 Nov, 2017


Wow! what a trip! this blog, Karen.
Back in the 70's I was into gesneriads in a big way... saintpaulias, episcias, gloxinias, also, rhoeo, oxalis, begonias, and a drascena that was 8 ft. tall... named Charlemagne! It used to take me the better part of a morning's work to water them all... at that time I also got into teraria and cloches offset the winter dryness in our apartment. If your pups are fond of grazing on your houseplants be sure to look them up for toxicity... I know the croton is poisonous if chewed... as are many other house plants, eg: Philodendron, of which all parts are poisonous, except for the fruit, which is exotic and delicious. (I seem to remember a post by Delonix1) although in fairness, I don't think the houseplant philos ever reached the point of blossom and fruiting...
There are a number of houseplants that are grown to improve indoor air quality as well. Funny, I had forgotten all this until your blog reminded me. As my life expanded to family and a home of our own with the chance to have an outdoor garden my focus shifted. I still have hp's - mostly orchids and cacti, and the cycle has come full circle..perhaps it's time to start thinking about hp's again?!

15 Nov, 2017


Well Lori, they would cheer your cold winters! Luckily, the dogs show no interest in any of the houseplants, which is just as well! Willow was at the vet yesterday...she had X-rays which show she has Spondylosis in her lower vertabrae..poor Willow. But the prognosis is good. The Vet says she should still have a long and happy life, but no more jumping for her ball. I haven’t told her that bit yet!

15 Nov, 2017


I remember the Lady with Green Face Eirlys but never had her, my sister-in-law had the Crying Boy but got rid of it when it became known as being cursed, said she didn't want to take the chance of her house burning down, my painting of the day was hung in our bedroom, was massive, I loved it but eventually gave it away, it was a huge swan, the wings formed what looked like a huge cave and stood on its back looking out was a completely naked man, nothing was hidden away, which is why we eventually gave it away, too many questions asked by the children when they were growing up....Never did find out who the artist was, nor have I ever seen one the same, I'd replace it now if I did as I do have a swan theme in my bedroom, lol.....

15 Nov, 2017


Oh Karen sorry to hear about Willow, good luck with trying to stop her running and jumping, Labs are a law unto themselves aren't they, she'll try and be as active no matter how much it might hurt, at least its treatable, thank goodness...

15 Nov, 2017


You should try googling it Lincslass! lol!...nooooooo! I'm only joking, don't do that! lol!

I remember the green-faced lady too, although we never had her. We did have an oil painting was of a village near Paignton..Cockington. We visited there on a camping holiday to Seaton and Mum and Dad brought back this awful painting. It was a lovely village, but the painting was dire...But my Mum liked it and it was way better than a lady with a green face! ;)

15 Nov, 2017


Thanks Lincslass. She's fine. She had a little tear around the garden today, but she's only 3...she needs to run. I think its more important to stop her jumping. :)

15 Nov, 2017


Oh yes Karen, I agree, at that age she does need her runs, our youngest has two labs, one is an old boy now but the youngest Bertholt is even younger than your Willow, he definitely needs to run..As to the painting I wouldn't dare google it, you imagine the sort of pages I might end up on, goodness don't bear thinking about and I'm not a prude, don't get me wrong there was nothing vulgar in the painting but crumbs how would I go about describing it on google....LOL....

16 Nov, 2017


Eirlys, no, the green lady wasn't on my walls but do you remember the tiger picture that was so popular.

I didn't know that G-plan is still made, apparently it's been going for 60 yrs so I read.

16 Nov, 2017


I only just got to reading this blog, but wow yes brings back the memories. There were several pictures in the style of the crying boy, if it's the one I remember. My granny and grandad had one with a child with a plaster on their knee, and I have a decoupage one called In Disgrace that is a girl in the corner with a rose spilled on the floor and a little dog there.

We had diamond patterned wallpaper in the dining room, all different sizes in shades of orange lol on white, and our interior door to that room was also painted orange, and we had bright orange curtains. And the dining chairs had orange cushioned seats. I also remember seeing orange cars with brown roofs. Lots of them. And in our front room the carpet was patterned brown and orange and yellow and turquoise swirly effect.

Our next door neighbours everything was shades of brown, including all their clothes!

My friend had a swiss cheese plant - I have never had one. My mum still has the same plants that she has had for decades, including the pink dotty one in your photos.

I don't have any windowsills here fit to put anything on as they are only about one inch wide inside, although the outsides are deep. But we are not supposed to put pots on the outsides, although if we all agreed then we could change that rule. We are also not supposed to hang washing out but the day I moved in I asked as there was already a little line outside the kitchen and I got told not to worry about it so the next day I went and bought a rotary line.

16 Nov, 2017


Lincs your pic was probably of Leda and the swan - you can google the story - one of the Greek myths. Zeus used to change himself into all sorts of things when he fancied a maiden...Just be glad the picture didn't show what happened next... Several famous painters did one so you'll have to get them on line to see which one ours was.

16 Nov, 2017


oh poor Willow... I dread the yearly vet visit, worried that our "fatty" Rufus may show some sign of future difficulty. He eats very I'm sure it's slowed him down because he used to run up the walnut tree and lurk in the branches. He's lucky if he gets 2 ft off the ground, now. It's hard to persuade them to be careful!

16 Nov, 2017


Thanks Stera I'll do that, I always thought there was a connection to the Greek Myths about the painting somewhere, I've always been interested so will enjoy reading up on it..

16 Nov, 2017


Have to confess I had a sneaking desire for the green-faced lady! OH said "No"!

At our first home the guest bedroom (!) , following the fashion of the day, had one wall decorated differently from the other three. The paper looked better on the roll!! This was the room where I was supposed to be having my first child, but after one look at the wallpaper the midwife decided against it. :O)

17 Nov, 2017


Glad to hear Willow will be OK, Karen, though I imagine she will find it difficult to take life a bit easier.

17 Nov, 2017


Oh, the whining Eirlys!

17 Nov, 2017


Oh poor Willow, that's only usually seen in much older dogs, is there any medication that would help slow it down or help at all such as people take like chondroitin?

17 Nov, 2017


Well GF, she has a herbal tablet called ‘youmove’, and she also has an anti-inflammatory painkiller. Yes, it is usually found in older dogs, and I have read that in young dogs it is usually hereditory. So last night I let the breeder know and he is going to check up on the rest of the litter to see if any of them have it. It is a shame for her and will restrict her a little. But it won’t lessen the love we have for her, and thats what matters really. She will be back at the Vet on Tuesday, and we’ll see if he has any other suggestions. Thank you!

17 Nov, 2017


QUOTE: Oh, the whining Eirlys! UNQUOTE

Yes it's me again . LOL :O)

17 Nov, 2017


Oh so sorry to hear about Willow, she is very young to be on any kind of medication, all to do with the breeding unfortunately.....
We had Gplan furniture I have still got my dressing table in our bedroom that I had as a teenager !! soon be an antique lol
Luckily my mother was ahead of her time, so we had very colourful abstract wallpaper and curtains, very large pot plants, whereas we started out with all Scandinavian furniture, from cutlery to beds, which is making a comeback.......

17 Nov, 2017


Eirlys! Lol! ;)

Thanks Angela...its sad isnt it. So now we have two dogs with chronic conditions who both require extra care...sigh.

17 Nov, 2017


Not good Karen, the breeder should not use either dogs again!!

19 Nov, 2017


DD, Agree, the gene pool is far too narrow for pedigrees these days & is why we decided to have a mixed breed.

20 Nov, 2017


Well I hope your vets charge a little less than ours, Karen. Actually it seems to have happened practically overnight down here. Is it the result of pet insurance? Whenever I watch Supervet I wonder what the bill is! Must be thousands. New neighbour confessed one of hers was £15,000!

The trouble is pets are part of the family and so are priceless. Makes me extra glad of our NHS, though.

I am sure your dogs will enjoy their lives with you in your lovely garden, Karen, even if you feel they are restricted.

22 Nov, 2017


Eirlys, I have wondered about that on Supervet too & where would you draw the line - a decision I hope I never have to make.

23 Nov, 2017


Regarding Supervet a friend had two hip replacements on his Lab a few years ago that was £10000.
No one mentioned the three ducks they were a musts as for the lady with the green face that was on sale in Boots stores in the early 1960s they also had the Spanish lady dancer in red we bought that one ,amazes me you still see it show up on the walls in TV shows .Mrs Brown currently has it.I still have it in the roof space ,think it had some influence on me wanting to paint,I loved that dress.

11 Dec, 2017


Bjs: Suspected as much. Many of the prosthetics are hand made and geared towards that particular pet.

Agree with you, Greenfinger where does one draw the line? The owners must be given a good estimate of the cost before they decide. How awful!

13 Dec, 2017

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