House Full of Plants’ secret garden

How a pair of plant-obsessed housemates are growing a green-thumbed Instagram following.

RACHEL MCGRATH
RACHEL MCGRATH

It's all about the light: Huge amounts pour in through skylights, tumble over window ledges and bathe the home Jennifer Lee (an occasional Coast contributor) and Robyn Ingraham share. Split into two flats, the sunny house was perfect for the close friends when they decided to become neighbours about five months ago.

"Lucking out on a space with a nice southwest facing window was a catalyst for the explosion of greenery," Lee explains.

RACHEL MCGRATH
RACHEL MCGRATH

And explode it has, with the friends accumulating approximately 120 plants in their own indoor jungle, which they document on the Instagram account House Full of Plants (or @housefullofplants).

click to enlarge RACHEL MCGRATH
RACHEL MCGRATH

"Our boyfriends are in the same
band and that's how we got to
know each other—they practice in our basement. We visited each other's last apartments—" Lee (left) says.

"And it was always plants that we'd always drift to. You had your beautiful outdoor garden," Ingraham adds, finishing her sentence.

click to enlarge RACHEL MCGRATH
RACHEL MCGRATH

"And you had all your succulent propagations I was in admiration of," says Lee.

Through their time as housemates, their green thumbs have gotten even more verdant, gleaning tips from Instagram and each other.

When asked for their best tips, they shout, in chorus: "Drain holes!"

RACHEL MCGRATH
RACHEL MCGRATH
"If you don't have any drain holes and you just fill your pot with water your roots are gonna rot and the plant will die right off," Ingraham explains. "And letting your water sit out for 24 hours: I fill up jugs and just have them sitting overnight to let all the chemicals [like chlorine] burn off for much happier leaves."

click to enlarge RACHEL MCGRATH
RACHEL MCGRATH

Both women are quick to add they still have a lot to learn about plants, and are excited to explore outdoor gardening in their shared backyard this spring. But while they may not have written the book on house plants, they've certainly written the caption.

"Our moms always had house plants and between the two of us, learning together, we began figuring it out," says Ingraham. "It's just fun."

RACHEL MCGRATH
RACHEL MCGRATH

About The Author

Morgan Mullin

Morgan is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at The Coast, where she writes about everything from what to see and do around Halifax to profiles of the city’s creative class to larger cultural pieces. She’s been with The Coast since 2016.

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