We can no longer overlook Katie Scott, and we don’t want to. This English illustrator depicts the botanical world in a novel and distorted way. Her passion for illustrating plants means that her botanical knowledge is constantly growing. As is her personal collection in her apartment in London.
She doesn’t give her plants names, because there would be too many to remember. But she does have a relationship with them. She looks after them with care. Instinctively. And that works for her. She tells us about her jungle apartment and her three favourites. Which she loves as much as her other green housemates, of course.
Katie says: “I find houseplants really interesting. How you can have a relationship with them and how they grow in a space in their own way. A lot of English people like gardening, but I don’t have a garden. My home is a ground floor apartment, and it’s taken a couple of years to find out which plants work best in my home.”
Ugly is fun
“My plants do their own thing in my apartment. For example, I’ve got a cactus which has grown into a bizarre shape because it does its own thing in my home and grows towards the light. He’s actually a bit ugly, a bit strange, but I really like that. I like slightly mad plants.”
Plants to the ceiling
“I find my houseplants look their most beautiful when they’ve been established in my home for a while. Plants which are a bit mature. I’m not really into the cultivated look. I prefer to see them grow the way they do in nature, where they compete with one another and grow in all directions. So my dream is that the plants in my home will reach the ceiling and then start growing sideways into space. My own jungle in the city.”
When we asked Katie what her three favourite plants are, she said it’s hard to choose. In any case she feels strongly about the following three beloved green companions:
“One plant that’s definitely one of my favourites is the Kalanchoe daigremontiana, mother-of-thousands. I bought one from garden centre once, and since then it keeps producing lots of shoots. It looks like a plant that no longer exists - a bit ‘Jurassic’, a sort of dinosaur. I think it looks great in the old pot with all its babies. Although they do make it a bit messy.”
“I bought the Jewel Orchid in a plant shop. I didn’t know what sort of orchid it was, but it looked unusual. I found the shape of the leaves and stems fascinating together with the layered green and purple colours. Orchids are typically plants that people can get extraordinarily passionate about. I often hear lots of rules that you should follow in order to look after them properly. I just improvise a bit. I look carefully at how the plant responds to the way I’m treating it. I now know that mine will start to flower when it’s a bit dry. It’s currently having a rest, and I’m looking forward expectantly to the time when it starts flowering again.”
“I bought this fern from a shop on the corner. I thought I knew what a fern looks like, until I came across this Fallax fern. The leaves have very comical ends, so I was quickly won over. The plant is incredibly easy to care for. It grows happily in a dark spot in my home, and I like to see it grow over time.”
She finishes by telling us: “I can’t imagine a life without flowers and plants. Not just because I illustrate them, but also because I need to be surrounded by flowers and plants. I enjoy looking after them and having a relationship with them. A life without flowers and plants seems to me strange and depressing.”