If you've opened social media lately, you've most likely noticed this obsession with greenery and plants. I say »obsession« like it's a bad thing but if you think of the fact that we apparently spend almost 90% of our lives inside, bringing some nature into our lives is actually a great idea (so would be actually going out of the house, but let's leave that topic for another time).
And one of the Instagram accounts that brings me innumerable joy as well as a good dose of the color green into my day is the account of Alja Skrt. I mean, just look at that plant heaven! It makes me look at my own little jungle and feel bad for those two plants that are looking a bit sad... Maybe it has to do with all my singing lately (and if you know me, you know that definitely doesn't help), hmmm? But no matter how good or bad your plants are doing, I bet you can find some inspiration in Alja's little squares full of green friends that fill her apartment to the brim but at the same time make it seem ridiculously chic and just, well, cozy.
She says it all started a decade ago when she was in 4th grade and was assigned to take care of her class' two plants (both snake plants) that the teacher gifted them to her by the end of the school year. But she wasn’t that into plants until the end of high school. “At that time there were only a few cactuses and succulents from Ikea on my shelves. But when I moved to my own place and had to decorate my apartment, the struggle got real. As a student, I had a limited budget so I quickly realized I could easily fill the space with some greenery. At that time, I also started to grow my own Avocado plants.”
She soon realized that plants aren't perfect just as decorative elements, but actually had a positive effect on her well-being.
“I believe I grew a special connection with them and it is growing stronger and stronger by the day. I admire the magic of nature---the whole process from rooting to growing and propagating plants. It inspires me as well as it drives my mind away from everyday thoughts,”
When asked how many plant flatmates she has, she admits: “You could say I'm a plant hoarder and to be honest I cannot tell you how many plants I actually have, because I stopped counting them at 140. However, one thing is for sure – one can never have too many plants. And remember those snake plants I was talking about at the beginning? Well, they are still alive.”
But Alja doesn't just stick to Instagram. Her project Ljubeznice is something every lover of plants and all things pretty will adore, I'm sure.
Ljubeznice is a place for collecting thoughts and ideas and it all started back in 2009 as a personal diary that eventually grew into a fashion blog and later became a portfolio of Alja's photo projects. »But for the past few years, it has become more of a place where I gather my travel diaries as well as plants and decor related topics. It is a place that grows and changes alongside me and in the first place a platform where I can always scroll down the memory lane and evoke my memories,” she explains.
And for those of us who are quite new to this plant business and don't really know where to start, one of Alja's tips is to not be afraid as taking care for your green friends takes time and is---as everything else---a learning process. »The more you observe, the better you get! For a beginner, I would suggest an Instagrammable Monstera because it is really easy to take care of. Snake plant, ZZ plant, and Pothos are hard to kill too. But if you are looking for something special and different, I would go for String of Pearls, Fiddle Leaf tree, Philodendron Xanadu, Begonia Maculata, Calathea Orphibolia or Fishbone cactus. Though keep in mind those require a bit more patience and care.”
Alja also organized a plant swap a while back, which I still regret I didn't attend even though I know that would have ended with way less space for my partner and I our apartment. When asked about the event and about her future plans she says: “I did that for the first time together with a friend (that I got to know on Instagram because we both share the love for greenery) and it was a huge success! So many plant lovers in one place and so many adorable baby plants and cuttings! It was a very lovely evening full of plant-related talks and new friendships. We are planning to host at least one more event like this in the spring. As for now, I don't really have any bigger exciting plans, but let's see what the future brings!”
Ljubeznice is currently written in Slovenian language and, unfortunately, I don't have good news for our English speaking friends as Alja explains, » the purpose of this blog is a personal platform rather than a commercial product, I stick to my mother language so I can express my thoughts better.” But that doesn't mean you can't adore her seemingly neverending stock of beautiful photos and design/plant inspiration.