Episode 97: indoor jungles with designer Martha Krempel
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Recording from deepest Bedfordshire in the UK. Yes. On recording this in my bedroom, very late at night, after my kids are well, and truly in bedroom farce asleep. So I may end up, channeling Jack Killian from midnight cooler that show from the late eighties about the radio host with the gravelly voice, but well, you'll probably too young to remember that show anyway this week on bringing you an interview with garden designer, Martha crumple whose love of house plants led her to design her own indoor plant haven, featuring seriously big plants safe to say, I was completely captivated all also be answering a question or rather asking you to answer a question about keeping track of watering plants, thanks to my new page. John supported this week, Nikki became an on the ledge superfan, and Joe who became a crazy plan person. Find out how to support on the ledge in the show notes Jane Perron dot com. And thanks so much to those of you who sent me the most wonderfully funny, touching and sometimes tearjerking voice memos and messages about what on the ledge means to you. I really can't wait to share these with everyone in my hundred episode. But this still time to contribute just record voice memo on your phone and Email that to on the ledge podcast, g mail dot com. And if you feeling shy and you don't want to say the words out loud, you can always just tap out. Some words for me to read out and send meet them in an Email. Now, let's hit interview with design a Martha crumple Martha has been designing gardens since twenty fourteen and a love of house plants led her to redesign her own home to accommodate lots of statuesque plants, including this very fine, succulent new phobia planted into bed at ground level. So looks as if it's thrusting up through the floor I was delighted to be able to visit Martha last month and find out how she dreamed up the space how she picked the plants and why she loves continuing to play with different arrangements of parts and foliage. Here's Martha to explain the layout of her indoor and outdoor garden. And I should say it's really worth looking at the pictures in the show notes while you listen to this interview, earn your so here Hugh noises from violent labrador owned by Martha in this episode two. The house. We said we wanted that building. There was always there, not was going to be my studio. And so we said, let's have a link building. And I said. Let's have it so faces worth. Make an indoor garden. I don't mean growing from the ground, but let's put loads of parts and then facing west so that so that we can get the evening light. So it'd be Newhall often in here. And then and then we put a green roof is on there. Oh on the idea was that you can even though we would making a substantial part of the garden, it didn't really matter because it was a garden. And therefore you didn't there was no feeling of loss of. And so that's kind of how the idea came about. And then I started maybe with this one that one first, and then gradually are just more mortgage, nothing. Let's see next quite as quite as more plans. It's happy. Let's put it that way. Flower jet because it's the white one. Is it Nikolai? Yes, it hasn't flowered yet. It may never flou- reaching the roof feel things. Yes, you got some white good going on there. What is quietly because what I was thinking that will go sensing, Varia, all turn that really. Yes, you've got these very impressive tie imports were you a house plant aficionado before this moment, or is this something that's? I mean as a kid after after I have to tell you knows thirteen did start working in a commercial, and that's kind of where all started, and they lived say four doors down. Issue, and they were photos down from our house. All my family were will what that from the age that inaudible the day job. And so the goes works are grew dailies, and my brother's got to do the good breeze and scratch today. She had a sense of that anyway. So that's where that came from. So I mean as a kid, appropriate a Cup spied upon but nothing far. My mom my mom did go indoor plants, actually, so funny ones bits very Gately's things, I wouldn't be interested not being junkie lease. That wouldn't fit in our house, too many of us. But I just always loved love Q, I suppose quite inspired by. Anywhere where you've got a significant any country significant. Palm house. They're really, really growing always prison and it really does. Because it's quite, it's quite a commitment, isn't it? I mean every day I won't down here and say last night. I did she wash leaves because you were coming. Yeah. Well, it's the after say they're all looking, they want job. There is some people love it. Some people find it a chore. Really? See hardly ever done it. And we had some, especially we've had some dusty work done within the last twelve months in house. So it was about time. But I have to say, I, she quite enjoyed it last night, it was quite quite therapeutic go to see a mindful activity as opposed to toss the after certainly through. They just love it. Also the other thing was one thing. I did do these quite often put indoor bulbs and into she just wants line. She thinks we're having fun. She won't just wanting your attention. No. She wants to. So she can join in the fun 'cause she sees choose. Let me just. Violets is making demands. This is heavily, I'll have to say I'm sitting here, beautiful surrounded by Peter four punts on looking out onto a lovely patio garden. Here is different countries. The cuts cuts us is kind of. The pit is definitely play around with normally would live out. What goes indoors in recent not Manian taika. You focus I've never seen them before. And I came for some in my mom regulars plan recently, I thought. I thought them in pit. The had cancer creeping up across the floor by just. It was driving me insane. Enough. So. Hopefully will keep them going. But I mean, if they start struggle I will take them out and put them in the garden somewhere, put something more proper in, but I see that as an area where I can play and mess around with concept of indoors and outdoors. It's lovely kind of almost feels. I wanna say sort of gives me a Spanish feeler minutes rating feel that idea that you've got this within your home. You've got this flush with floor level this planting area. Yeah. That's a really nice idea. When you I did that and you first, how big was that you for be a when you first put the name was so small? He's really big. It was about, I think it was about six or world. So we, we put that in only probably maybe just less than two years ago. So he he's quiet musical Pablo bone is great name. He he's growing faster than I was expecting him to that is because I, I if you if you want your cuts they do go. People saying, well, it depends, it depends on what is in your house this, that's west, and that south is baking in here. So he's getting a nice full full, what I filled son by putting that tree right there because I had to Kuta stanks, which is reason I chose to put beautiful is. Which of Burgess Jilin Nygard heritable is a love it. When you choosing these plots were you just as a garden designer, were you just looking at the forms and shakes, and thinking that's going to work. Did you did you do research or how did that process work? So I didn't I did my set. So went online chose just becomes an obsession visiting into to successively looking sod hold tropical sub tropical section on Pinterest that was just the metoo look at my shed it now for me at tires. Smoking. Chica. Show. Husband. An governing millions of them and then also what I found was couldn't get everything I wanted. Yes. That was a big issue for me. So I would be just going all over the place. Just buy stuff. But generally my main one remains by she gets biggest from everywhere, so she was brilliant. I would give my lesson she'd just gradually get things. And then I would go to the market or go to the palm sensor or go, I think this from the palm center. And then just randomly than where I would go at go. Let's see from from thirty paces the one that I want go. That's me. And then L elephant is is coming now where am I going to put it? I have no idea coming in. It's quite big. Yes. Good to make room so my husband's not got collection. His office is old. That's one that can coat we'd low light Nevins because he's much light. That was the only thing about building this to have that sort of level of light meant grow different things, and get things going all circles. Little teeny. Wisteria ceiling's going there. I'm not I'm not a five one forgetting things go from seed. But I think now that I'm really comfortable with the regime of taking care of these properly-acting would do more now. Do give me CPAC or I thought you might like these think. Yeah. It's you know I encourage listeners to do. We do a soa long thing, every spring wrong courage listens to sew seed, but there's no denying that it's a lot of work. It's on you end up doing that with a lot of plants, which is good. And you end up with plants that are from the star adapted your conditions. But then you end up with a little plots. I've got all these cacti that I grew last year, and I'm dislike who I'm going to have to. I'm going to have to find some homes for these because I've just run out of room. That's the thing you, learn as you go through these things wrong things things fail. And you go back to the drawing board, but that's okay these point, we went on a rather long, detour about Burge trees and quince trees and lovely, though, that chat Wasi really wasn't house plot related. So I'm going to bring you back into the interview where we start talking about Pablo, yes, Pablo. That's the name of Martha's immense and wonderful succulent. Phobia, is seventy cents to pitch. Okay. Right. So that was designed as we, we knew we were always going to it was actually meant to go here. But we just time we were we have the other table riders. I mean when stalking very way. So that's says Larry teeter stupa. Parker intense blue. Amendments Euboea Tasmanian tiger that you forbear is lovely not normally, not a fan of very good. A massive fan of phobias have a lot. But one, I haven't come across. I think you forgive it that because it's up pale. Yeah. It's great. Do you ever worry that somebody's gonna come in after drunken out sort of lean against this? And it's orga go. Or is it not all these tough? He's not bothered. He's, he's still producing ABS's basis I can see. Happy. He got a good wash yesterday. It was interesting rubber gloves on got it hers doctrine. I mean that's not a very so on even though. It's nice having applaud this told than you, I think that's something in that it was it was, it was about then. But he he's leaving. Which I'm surprised? I thought you grow towards the sun. Yes. Seeming away nuts because this is heavy. Oh, yes. That is heavy so. And this is what I'm saying members saying about punch. You think now go towards the Gartner men turned away? So he's starting to grow. Bus. True. There. I want to people say when they come in here and see this people some people who are into house plants a bit disapproving of the fight. We just think it's interesting or most of my friends, love it thinks fab and fun. I did have a meeting with them implying, too. I think they were surprised because they caught in on. They wanted to extremely formal land and then giving them a crazy bit with a nicer garden to, to just to go Matt O'Connor white ingred to saw this out of it. But I think like oh, and then they said starting Matha. I think. Thanks. Oh, that's great. Well, it's, it's a real space. I think made a difference to you into of how we feel real life, having this space, people people who on since. Oh my son. Cheetah and he he. Over green isn't 'have token, spoiled me, you know. So I think he's right. I mean, that's how we feel when we come in, in evening, you know, it's quite low maintenance garden because I'm onto very densely. Often much to do part from tiding up. And so I don't come in and go work at work to do like that. Just feels great. And then when we come in here you are. You are various up presume all stress levels go down. I mean, I couldn't say that specifically. But hoping yet that is the aim. It's really nice to sit among there's no doubt voted to lookout on. And then. Something is happening every season for sure. So do you might have one or two clients? See this, especially as you've won an award for a who go. Yes, I'll have one of those not. And then then it's less. I mean I have a friend down the road. And she does just want me to do something like this. But yeah, I think that would that would be nice. So I get asked to do things which are make me happy old or more my style. Yeah. I've certainly got so friends who've come here for parties, all comforted. They go can you come in? Can you come and sold out my friends, she's post rose Judy in the back on, please? Sort out my studio. So we're on site ready doing that now. And she, they've just gone with my suggestions were based on having been here, so that it does it does pay off having somebody that people can come to go. We are the way that I just do that. All do version of that. Whatever is. Because each different climate in the garden, it's different isn't it everywhere, so different, and especially, where you go the hills around the way water drains, particularly round quick would area is most unusual. I think we have underground streams, okay, because it's inaugural garden, which is in the Mexican summation area. There was definitely a supply of water coming from somewhere towards towards the house. The previous occupant, laid who'd lift, sir, two years. Previously one one day turned up in our in our garden. And it was really unfortunate because we just removed this spectacular. Enormous conifer two days before and short. And she went, where's my three? What do you know the Tino, Angelina ballerina that story she sounded lightly? The mother, the grandmother, something on the tutor. Anyway, I said, I'm really sorry. You had to go nitty the width of the garden of the base new, as she said there was this definitely as a water source in here. And that's I'd found this image Pryatta, removing the tree. But yeah, so anyway, so I tried to my version suitable for each clients. Sponsoring this week show is babble, the language learning up the hills, you to speak in new language with confidence. I wish I'd had babble when I was learning languages in high school because I found it really tough. And now I'm that bit older, I'd love to speak Italian fluently. 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Rene Saenz of indoor plants. Yeah. Yes, go back in the seventies. What do you see is the future about the design with your designer? I do you think that's going to make garden design is generally sort of look, more to indoor plants when designing project, I think, now I think some people just won't be bothered with it. It's all I, I, I went into dozen thirteen I, I really honestly, thought said to friend of mine, I think the next big thing is gardening because people don't have gardens and they one punts so much they want they want to be thrown by greenery. They want they want also they want to care for them. Do you want to care for them? So I think I think two things some people will will incorporate it into their into their designs, and I think some people won't but I think the knock on effect of there being the opportunity to grow more interesting things in house will have an impact on the gun and I think we'll see more subtropical going back outside where that was big in the eighty s. Nineteen wasn't it big tropical gardens? I think I will be I've already done God, who I've got love things in that. I've done bananas on we've done found poems. And she she she goes on holiday all the time to Asia. She said this is why won't mixed in with British. Nice trees, please great love it. And it turned actually turned out. I, I think it's quite it's quite deal, but actually have you ever been to abbots be subtropical garden? I haven't been like I go that quite a lot because we go down to Devon, and it's quite it's on my can go that way. I love it. And I photographed every time and every time it's exciting. And so that is that so I kind of did a lot of my choice based on her. Those kind of things work together. So, yeah, I think that's not gonna I I'm what about Instagram? If you're on the do you see that, as you being influence on their or other people influencing you in terms of what you're looking at and process for sure. But I don't think I'm a big influence. I mean I was put my guns at more often. We'll put gardens I visited. Or is always landscape. The because I find out the most inspiring thing, not just the way little plants the huge shapes in the landscape in mountains and the color of the sky, she's always incredible seems today. I know this guy is amazing today after all this rain, we're having a very if I was working alert, it almost sort of beach like coastal, some cushy really feels like the seaside today. Rink. It's I think it's because it's still quite fresh. Yes show. It's lovely. It's beautiful thing. I mean, if when your if you're sort of advising somebody he was had a space. They wanted to fill with plants as a designer you are coming this very different angle for most of us. This isn't a massive space. You quote big plants in here. I think people are scared of big plant, sometimes because they think they're going to take over. I sometimes think if you have lots of tiny flaws it makes us based feel once Lou. Yeah. Yeah. What are your tips, sort of fatuzzo plants aside from the kind of cultural requirements? Yeah. Sure. Oh, I would definitely go for one that does that. So a big one, the Shing number. And then one does that. So. And then and then you could have one little one that's doing something really interesting coming out with. I would say, don't pay any spike. You was anywhere near where you're going to be walking just dogs having crushing into them. You just what my spike humans are off the floor, mainly, but I have got that one there. But that one, I might have to move if it gets too much big. We'll see. Is it just my, my main choices are? It's a leaf shape. So how believes worked together with the other things in quite strict about color. It's mainly green did buy a pup lifelong, which is a major sponsor. And I thought I can't have bans. So it's gonna got out of the way and inset say they're so I'm allowing that purple and green known. But that's about it. I wouldn't. And I don't really like flowery ones. Either that much. And this is fine anything deserty this flower. Yep. Favorite place. It doesn't because variation is so big now variation and has people's see him that people thinking very gated Swiss cheese plaza and things. It's so popular. I mean, I'm bit of not not that keen on it. I'm a bit of a sort of a magpie when it comes to plants in just think something's really cool. So I want to as opposed to thinking, how's this going to fit with my overall scheme, which is probably my downfall, but I guess do move around quite bit. Do you range, I was gonna say big plants, but it's it's not because you like just seeing different on Somboon of plants, or just because you get bored, I rearrange them sometimes because they have grown and therefore needs reconfigure, how they were with other things or space, will eventually definitely knock this one. Every time we walk through mines too much. I think do like change or if usually bought about its comes about, because I've bought a new one in a never we have to reorganize. Or if I if I see Celtics folks country over there, not part. I had that indoors for, for a while, because he was tender and going, and then I popped out the other day, the FOX is paid on it. Oh, burdening, it, I'm gonna have to indifferent. But, but basically getting here, though, right? Okay. This is interesting because I called him magin. It's tool to walls here over the top of that roof, really. I think. That'd be jumping on the been because I work in. Yes. So you what Nate? I can hit him on the move on. Then I know they're on here. The company, I think coming for drink negation. Goes on emotion. Goes on life light. The light goes there on there. And then I found them in here. Teeny up every day just here. All men when I'm on the glass news my five steps to get. Injury. Open living, a nerve wildlife is it never is. Amazing. And I don't really mind them sleeping aspect. I've done something because there's a part of the rotation isn't working chin or they've done something, because I was worms. She's really an yes, we have to live with these different challenges. We do. Yeah. Well, it's been tastic around your wonderful garden, indoor and out Martha. And thank you very much on, most inspired. Won an S. GD award. Does this -ociety of garden design is here in the UK for her garden and is much deserve because this really is a wonderful space? Do check out the show notes for details about Martha and her ward, and what she gets up to in terms of other Gordon design work, and now it's time for question of the week and this one. Well, I just really wound benefit on being rose over here. But I do occasionally look at the Hirsch time. Plump Twitter on Twitter. Surprisingly, there was one post there. Why somebody could Sarah, the really caught my attention because it addresses the question that I've been wondering about myself recently, Sarah says tell me on Twitter are parliament is getting more and more filled with plants was the best way of keeping track of which ones need watering, alums reminders. We reschedule an app which they aren't check ins, don't will my babies to die now. This is interesting. As I revealed in my Hilton Carter into you. My approach watering right now is that as you can tell from the fact that I'm up late in recording. This is just Chuck some water on when I get a moment, but it would be really great to have some kind of system in place to keep track things. So I'd love to know from you guys no-doubt way more organized than me. What do you use? Do you have d- have a spreadsheet DJ's rely on sticking your finger in the dirt and finding out which ones need watering that way? I would really love to know what method you use to keep on track of what's happening with your house loans. And when so really this is not a question that I'm wondering myself. I'm throwing out to use the audience to please help me on this one. And if we get some good suggestions, Ostra pass them onto Sarah. And obviously, if you got a question for on the ledge you can't drop me a line, I've had lots of Claude ide- questions this week and loss of plants with crispy leaves. It must be time if year but I'd love. To hear from you. On the ledge podcast, g mail dot com is the way to go and I will do my very best on. So your question, I've got a few tricky questions that I'm seeking out some expert help for. So if your question hasn't been answered don't despair, I will try to get to you as soon as I can. Well, that's all for this week's show. I'll be back next Friday for episode ninety eight getting perilously close to the hundred episode aren't we? And in the meantime, have a fabulously fully filled week. In the meantime, I'm gonna go guests and shut on take Kaplon phones by. The music in this episode was rolled your role by the joy drops an instrument. The boy will have day Connor by some, you'll Cohen overthrown by Josh Woodward with at music from the halftime banjo orchestra featuring the tracks whistling Rufus, and dill pickles over music today's show is licensed under creative Commons. CJ Perron dot com for details.