This home is full of plants that will leave you wanting more. Come with me to Jonathan’s in Montreal.
Your name: Jonathan Lefrançois
Occupation: Graphic designer (@pulpandpixel)
Where you live: Montreal, Québec, Canada (Hardiness zone 5b FYI)
Number of plants you own: I think close to 70? You’ll notice most of them are quite small/young and this is because I pick up cuttings from people or trade a lot of the time. I love seeing them grow from their baby stage.
How long you have been into plants and how did you get introduced: My obsession began in November of 2016 so I’d say I picked up quite a few plants since then. I recall wanting to get some plants for my office and a friend gave me some succulent leaves. When they explained how they grew I was really amazed and looked into it some more. I think that got me hooked instantly. It’s almost magic how incredible plants are. So I started asking for cuttings and before I knew it, my house was pretty full with plants.
Where do your windows face and what plants have grown best in your home or close to those windows?: I just moved a month ago and only have windows on one side. The place is not very big but it’s on two floors and the windows are huge and SW facing, so most of the plants are very happy on that ledge. I’m quite happy with how deep the ledge is because I was able to fit a whole lot. I am adding more shelves soon to increase the collection.
Name any benefits you get from your plants: Plants are the perfect distraction from work. Being self-employed I tend to obsess over that world constantly. Now I take time off like I should, and I am happy to spend it playing in dirt and researching new plants. I have met some fantastic people in a handful of plant communities on Facebook or even Instagram. I find plant people are just the best! When I see the businesses in my neighbourhood have plants in their windows I always chat with the owners about them and half the time they offer me cuttings so that’s also amazing. It’s been such a great hobby so far.
What kind of plants do you like the most: I admittedly like all plants. I love how different they all are from each other. Even within the same genus there are such differences. I want to have them all in my house!
Can you share the biggest challenge you have had with your plants?: Having a cat makes it tricky to keep plants on the ground. Luckily my cat is older and not super adventurous so he leaves them alone. I also make sure they are out of reach so even if he was curious he’d have a hard time getting to them. I also find being in Montreal tricky: we have very hot humid summers and freezing winters, so we heat indoors and it gets very dry. You can have gorgeous plants the rest of the year and lose a few in the winter.
Can you share one mistake you made as a gardener?: I still experience this but I think I fiddle with my plants too much. I feel like the most beautiful, mature plants belong to people who say they barely ever touch them. Perhaps they underestimate how much they do but I definitely like to visit and check in on my plants too often (again, working from home doesn’t help!).
If your plants were to be taken from you and you could only keep one which one would it be and why?: I’ve gotten pretty attached to my variegated Monstera since it was one of my first large plants and we had a rough start. Now it’s shooting out huge leaves and is so beautiful so that’s rewarding.
Best advice you can give about any aspect in taking care of plants: There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach so before you get into plants, evaluate your windows, how you keep your home in terms of heat and humidity. Then I would say to ask friends or family for cuttings. It’s a fantastic way to start and plant people are usually happy to share. This will keep the costs lower (and it adds up once you start getting pots and soils etc.)
Where can others find you: My design website and social media are pulpandpixel.ca and @pulpandpixel. My personal instagram is @jrlefrancois. I share mostly plants, interior decorating, my cat, and food.
Oh my Jonathan! Your home and plants are Lovely! My favourite part were your shelves and windowsill plants. So bright and colourful. Thank you so much for sharing your plants and home with us. What was your favourite plant?
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Hi, I’m Barbara and I’m a little obsessed with house plants. I share my house plant adventures in the hopes of inspiring you to continue to enjoy the greens in your home. And if you have no plants (yet!) I hope this blog inspires you to add some green to your home. So go on! Try it! I think you might quite like it. And who knows? You may end up being … obsessed too.