In a city that’s riddled with tall, grey buildings there’s a number of plant people on the Toronto grid. These plant lovers range from living in jungles to just starting to learn about the world of greenery. Eryn, the curator of the lovely Instagram account Leaves & Bones sat down with Sharebloom co-founder, Naomi, to talk everything plants.
Using a unique style, Eryn showcases her #plantlife in a series of photos that serve as an inspiration to us all. So, let’s get started and dive into the life of Eryn and her stunning plant-filled apartment.
Naomi: So, one thing I am definitely curious about is your Instagram handle. How did you come up with that and does it tie into anything in your life?
Eryn: It took a while to figure out, but I wanted something that was relevant to what my aesthetic and how it was green and full. I realized I had like a lot of succulents and plants all over the place along with a bit of a rugged look, so I thought that would be appropriate when it came to a name.
Naomi: How did your plant journey get started started? I feel like I kind of watched it unfold on Instagram myself. When you start getting plants, and then all the sudden, the next thing I knew you had an incredible amount in your apartment!
Eryn: Yeah, so it was basically getting it out of the way. I think that's like anything-- you just started something new and then you become obsessed with it. It's almost like when you get like a tattoo and then you're just thinking about the next tattoo.
Naomi: Kind of addicting, to an extent?
Eryn: Yeah, and then you're like always looking for inspiration, especially on Instagram because you see so many different plants and even though you might already have too many you think, "Oh my God! I want that plant."
Naomi: Yeah, I totally agree with that. I feel like once you start getting them, there’s plants everywhere you look; at the grocery stores, Home Depot, and a ton of other places. This makes it hard to try and stop buying plants, even though you already might live in a jungle!
Eryn: Oh, yeah. I definitely understand that feeling.
Naomi: Do you remember what your first plant ever was? Or your first few?
Eryn: I can't remember because it started back when I was in London. There was an amazing plant store called like Heeman's. My sister and I went there and I bought a bunch of plants, and that's basically where it started. It really just took off from there. I remember picking up some succulents and a few others.
Naomi: How long ago was that?
Eryn: Well, it probably would be about five years ago now?
Naomi: Oh wow! So a while back. I guess from there you kind of turned into a passion? Or was it like a slow build?
Eryn: Yeah, I think it was a slow build. But then I think about it and at one point, I just realized how much I actually love plants. When it comes to Instagram. I had a personal one and I kept on posting pictures of my plants and apartment, and people liked it! So, I decided to make an account specifically for my plants and my apartment style.
Naomi: That's so cool how that got started! Sounds like it was a pretty natural process.
Eryn: Yeah, but even now that I look back at old pictures some of my plants in my bedroom and compare it to now, about a year later, the window is completely full!
Naomi: Yeah, that's such a cool progression to be able to track! It’s like you have a visual look book of how your apartment has developed. I feel like if someone were to go to your Instagram account, a term that might come into their mind is "plant lady.” Is that a term that you identify with?
Eryn: I would definitely identify with that. To be honest, it’s getting to the point where I’m talking to my plants more than my cats!
Naomi: Yeah, it's totally a thing, talking to plants. How many plants do you have right now? Or do you know?
Eryn: I don't know, exactly, but if I was guessing it would be around 150. But then I also left a bunch of them at my old place too so I could like figure out what to do with my favourites and longest-standing ones, get those over and then slowly start bringing the others if I can.
Naomi: That's cool. Wow, you have a ton now. Do you have a watering routine for them all or do you just kind of wing it?
Eryn: No routine. There's some that I'm aware of that need to be watered at certain point. But mostly I just go around and check to see if they need water. Usually a lot of them need to be watered around the same time which makes it a lot easier. That being said, it’s basically a full day of watering plants when you have the amount that I do.
Naomi: Oh yeah, I know what you mean. How do you usually do your watering routine with so many? Do you use a watering can?
Eryn: Yeah, I do. For my big plants I'll do them in the bathtub and then the smaller ones I'll do in the sink. I know it's best to let your water set out but I just don't have enough containers to hold that much to be able to water them all. So, yeah, I just do it in the sink and let the water run through.
Naomi: That’s exactly what I do too! How did you get educated with plants and how did you start learning how to properly care for them?
Eryn: Yeah, I mean mostly just the internet helped educate me. I just like look up new plants, or plants I want and see what it needs to see if it’s appropriate for my place. Eventually you just start retaining all that information.
Naomi: Yeah, that's fair. Have you had your fair share of dying plants or anything like that?
Eryn: Oh, of course! I feel like some plants, they eventually just have no hope and if it’s close to dying, do I just rid of it or try and nurse it back to health? It really depends, there’s some I don’t care too much about while others I just don’t want them to die!
Naomi: That is totally fair. I feel like for Thom, he is the one that's always fighting for the plant and I'm like, "It's dead."
Eryn: Oh yeah, at that point, just get rid of it! It’s hard sometimes though and I’ll go to extremes for some. I had a banana plant that I had to take apart and clean all the roots and everything because the main area had root rot. So then I had to take the sections that didn't have a rot and clean all that stuff up. It was still a little depressing because I had just got it as a gift and then I didn’t really know what was happening until I realized it was root rot.
Naomi: So true, it can be so sad! You have two cats, so how do you find living with both plants and pets?
Eryn: I don't have a problem with them co-living with each other. I’ve been lucky, my cats don’t really do much to them. Sometimes they'll snap on the fern or something, but they normally don't bother my plants at all.
Naomi: And did you have to train them with that?
Eryn: They just didn't bother them — I was surprised!
Naomi: Wow. That’s so crazy.
Eryn: I know. That's like my number one asked question on Instagram "how do you know which plants are like okay for your cats?" I’ve just never really had an issue with it myself.
Naomi: Do you have a favourite plant?
Eryn: Oh yeah, my fiddle leaf.
Naomi: That one is so beautiful.
Eryn: I think it’s just because I had it when it was smaller. It was so lush and beautiful but obviously it goes through a transition period when you bring it home. It dropped a lot of leaves and then like I had to put it in another window. So we went through another transition period. So right now I'm just like crossing my fingers that like nothing happens to it from moving here into this new place.
Naomi: How tall was it when you brought it?
Eryn: Maybe three feet? So, it’s grown a lot and it's more sparse now. It's one that I like to pay particular attention to because they are so picky
Naomi: Yeah we have about four figs and we’re just trying to keep them all alive!
Eryn: And it's so sad too because when they drop a leaf, it's so emotional and so crushing!
Naomi: Yeah, it's very true. And I read somewhere online that it will never re-grow a leaf in that exact same spot. So, it's just like done. So that's kind of sad too because some plants will re-bloom in an area but a fig just… doesn’t.
Eryn: Yeah, well that's the thing, if you pinch a leaf off it will grow from there. But I think it has to be from the new growth.
Naomi: Yeah, a few months ago we started cutting our figs to get new leaves. So, do you like being a plant lady and do you feel like a lot of people come to you for advice?
Eryn: Yeah, people do a lot and they'll like send me pictures of their plants and asking me if they'll die or how they can help their plants.
Naomi: Wow! So I guess you also feel like a plant doctor?
Eryn: I mean, I know a lot but surprisingly not that much! I do my best to diagnose on my own through an image someone sends, but I’m always learning!
Naomi: Do you have a community of friends in Toronto that love plants like you do or is it more like online based?
Eryn: Yeah, it’s definitely more online I would say. There’s some people I chat with but we have never even met!
Naomi: It’s really incredible the age that we live in where we don’t actually need to meet anyone in person to chat with them, learn from them or have a friendship with them. I’m curious, does any of your family members have a passion for plants like you do?
Eryn: Yeah, actually my sister does. She has probably about 50 plants, so we're always talking about them. My oldest brother likes them a lot too. It’s nice because we don’t need to have things in common, but this is a nice hobby for us to all experience together.
Naomi: Yeah, I feel like that's a really cool thing about nature; you can have nothing in common with a person but can connect with nature in some way. Do you have a plant that's on your wish list right now?
Eryn: Yes. What do I really want? I want one of those, I can't remember the actual name of it. But it's the Begonia with the green leaves and the white dots on it.
Naomi: Ahh that’s a great choice! Well, thanks so much for chatting with me today. It was lovely to see your gorgeous apartment in person.
Eryn: Thank YOU for bringing Toronto’s plant people to the forefront, hopefully next time we chat I have even more to show you.
Follow Eryn on Instagram by following Plants & Bones! She’s got some serious inspiration for all you plant-lovers out there.