I grew up in the city, but once you stepped inside our apartment, it was a completely different story. Our home was a living, breathing rainforest. My mom was— and still is—a plant whisperer, and she tended her thriving jungle like a botanical virtuoso. We had leafy ferns and spiky spider plants and a huge philodendron, lovingly called Phil, that touched the ceiling. The hiss of water misting from a spray bottle was the soundtrack to my childhood. Sadly, Mom’s green thumb is entirely absent from my DNA: I’m even intimidated by the idea of tending a windowsill herb garden.

I’m still an urban girl, but now I live in a house with a backyard and a garden. My mom comes to visit and fixes all the things I broke that she planted—inside and out—the year before. I still haven’t got the gift, but I appreciate her love of greenery more than ever now. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when the topic of houseplants came up in an editorial meeting and the reaction of the team was unadulterated excitement, chatter and even a few jumpy claps. Everyone wanted something green in their home but didn’t know where to start. Some mentioned the new plant-themed restaurants they’d been to or the succulents and terrariums that had replaced classic floral bouquets at industry events. And Pantone naming Greenery the Color of the Year had certainly caught their attention as well. The team wanted to talk about this new green appreciation—a lot.

That’s how we ended up doing our first-ever feature on plants and how to bring them confidently into your home in a way that fits your lifestyle. That isn’t the only hit of green in this issue, though. You’ll find lush landscapes and verdant images in our floral fashion editorial shot in St. Lucia. We also explore luxury escapes that have an eco-twist. And if you’ll permit a little garden-related wordplay, this month we’re also reflecting on the ideas we plant in our minds and how they spread— specifically how we, as women, frame and prioritize finding happiness.

Perhaps our attraction to plants is as simple as a desire for the calming vibes anything nature-related brings. And plants are an apt metaphor for life: To thrive, we have to be patient and recognize that there are times when we need a little sunshine (or perhaps a strong weed killer!) in our lives. What seeds are you sowing for yourself right now? I’d love to hear about them.


Vanessa Craft


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This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of ELLE Canada.