Oooh, I’ve had a right nice time in Copenhagen this week! But I couldn’t avoid plants, they were everywhere I went… not that I’m complaining!
The Danes are great for hygge, and part of that is making houseplants a hobby, not just all year round, but especially in the dark winter. You’ll find houseplants in almost every bar and cafe, and they’ll be huge hunking specimens, not freshly planted ones following some trend.
Now I’ve stopped scoffing smørrebrod, I’m read to put together a few hort thoughts following my trip…
1. pastel and rustic
I have to say, the selection of plants outside florists and in markets is super classy. Baby blue Muscari, pastel coloured tulips, green fresh conifers, tangled muehlenbeckia… no bright, some may say, garish colours. The containers are also achingly rustic – either concrete, wicker or something natural. On paper, it sounds all a bit twee, but it real life, it defo has that feel good factor!!
2. eyeing up the next top houseplants
The botanical gardens were ACE (more on that later), and I definitely spotted a few houseplants that could find their way into my home, I primrose I didn’t sneak any cuttings into my backpack… The giant Callisia fragrans looked swell, and I just know it would be easy and forgiving to grow! Then there’s Begonia glabra, which I reckon would suit a trailing container indoors! Annnnd a plant I’ve admired for years: Velthemia – it’s like a tropical Red Hot Poker. Gonna order me some and make you all jealous, right now…
3. winter gardens done right
Fresh from my star turn on Steph’s Packed Lunch talking winter colour, I was super impressed with the Danes take on it. I LOVE the short Pine trees that are used across the city and they really add something forest like. Mixed with Cornus with their red stems makes a lovely combo of colour, shape and texture! Camellias in pots looked great too, although the cafe they marked the entrance to was somewhat pretentious. On the upside, the burrata was nice!
4. indoor inspo
Leading on from key houseplants, I was also wowed by a few new ideas for indoors. One night, we accidentally stumbled into a Latin America restaurant with the most delicious tiled floor. But even more remarkable were the large bottles filled with water and silk flowers. I simply can’t decide if it’s trashy or a triumph???
Now our hotel was the bolllocks! Breakfast each day amongst 100 odd houseplants, even giant indoor azalea! And houseplants dangled over the stairs down to the buffet too! It was proper cool.
5. climbers and height
I have never been in a city and seen climbers used so much, from trellis walls in the cemetery to street side pillars. The amazing Mountain Apartments development also made great use of climbing/clambering winter jasmine, softening the edges and giving a right old spaff of winter colour!
6. botanical finds
Copenhagen botanic garden is DEFO worth a visit! Don’t be put off by the slightly dishevelled appearance of the pots and borders, I think that’s actually the mark of a crazy plant collector. There were tonnes of unique plants from orange tropical Buddleja to a water plants section! And, there’s a giant bamboo which keeps out growing the greenhouse and needs trimming twice a year. There is literally giant everything, from cycads to palms to bananas – they love the Danish greenhouse climate, it seems. Boom!!
Have you visited Copenhagen or are planning to visit soon? Let me know in the comments below!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook – and writes a plant-focused Substack called Grow This, Not That.