Going wild with Plant Daddy Hilton Carter

The author and interior stylist shows us one of his favorite plant styling techniques

Modern outdoor planter ideas with Hilton Carter and CB2Modern outdoor planter ideas with Hilton Carter and CB2
Maybe you’ve been inspired to bring a plant or two into your space, but are disappointed that it doesn’t feel quite as … tropical … as you’d like. Or perhaps you’re just looking to cultivate your own urban (or suburban) jungle from scratch.

Either way, Hilton Carter can help. We asked the filmmaker, author and “plantfluencer” to show us a thing or two about plant styling, and he did not disappoint. Read on to discover how to pull off one of his favorite techniques, leveling, for major conservatory/greenhouse vibes, straight from the man himself:

Modern outdoor planter ideas with Hilton Carter and CB2
Modern outdoor planter ideas with Hilton Carter and CB2
Modern outdoor planter ideas with Hilton Carter and CB2
“When deciding how to place my plants in a new space, I always think about how plants are in the wild or at a conservatory. When you walk in the wild or through a conservatory, there is greenery hitting you at every level: at your feet, at eye level and above you. So in my spaces you’ll notice an artfully balanced look of greenery. I like to place plants at low, medium and high levels. This makes it so that when you enter the space, your eye is forced to move around the room and you feel fully immersed in green.

To truly give your space that indoor jungle vibe, you have to think of using the space at every level.

Modern outdoor planter ideas with Hilton Carter and CB2
I first think about where the light is coming from and how to accentuate the window space, not make it feel cluttered or messy. I then make my decisions on what plants should go where based on color, foliage shape and foliage texture because in the wild there are various types of plants all nested together and is the look you should aspire to create. For me seeing a Chinese Fan Palm next to an Alocasia and fiddle leaf fig really makes a place sing.

Layering a diverse look of foliage in your space is what takes it to the level of ‘jungle.’

I like to place plants that can cascade down the side of a nice hanging planter up high in windows and throughout the space. I also think it’s important to allow your space to be unpredictable and place a large plant on top of a shelf or pedestal to raise it even higher. This is what I would call the statement plant in that room.

When deciding on where to place your plants, whether it’s high up in a window or larger floor plants that are surrounded by smaller ones in front, make sure you are placing them in spots that are accessible to you for easy care. If you’re hanging plants in a window and need to pull out a ladder each week to water it, know that that’s what it’ll take to keep that plant alive. If you find that that’s asking too much of you, don’t place your plant there. The idea is to set yourself up for success, not failure.

When styling your plants on a porch like the one I’m using, you want to make sure you’re utilizing the space the best way you can. Yes, you want to fill the space with green at each level but you don’t want to obscure your view looking out. Let the greenery inside of the porch frame the window and the outside world. This will create a seamless transition from interior to exterior and help to blur that line.”
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