Jin Ahn, founder of Conservatory Archives, has made our locations look sleek AF with her indoor planting, most recently at Greenwich Grind.
We sat down with Jin to find out how she made a career working with plants and to get some green-fingered tips, so if like us you're still yet to get your s**t together, you can at least keep your house plants alive.
Can you tell us a little bit about how Conservatory Archives came to be?
When I was about to finish my Horticulture degree in Essex, I suddenly became curious as to how come there had been such little attention paid to indoor gardening. I am from Seoul, a city girl and so had little knowledge of gardening. Of course, London was the place to be to make my dream happen. In the beginning, we never thought the company would grow to what it is now - we run three physical shops (including a concession in Liberty London), are working on numerous projects for commercial clients such as Grind and also maintain our installations all around the city. Conservatory Archives started as a small plant store on Hackney Road, however, over the last three years, we have been able to take the business to the next level, with immense support and love from our creative local community.
How do you select the plants displayed at Grind?
When we were asked to submit our planting proposal to Greenwich Grind, the first thing I did was a site visit to see the space and most importantly to measure how much natural light the restaurant gets. It's also important to check how much floor space and surface we have - I loved working on Greenwich Grind as there was so much potential (space!) to use larger specimen plants and let them grow within the gorgeous conservatory-like dining area.
Which is the most low maintenance houseplant?
It really depends on where you would like to place them. For a sunny windowsill, I would suggest succulents and cacti. They also don't mind being neglected for a couple of weeks if you have a busy lifestyle. Just please do not over-water them! Monstera and Philodendron (there are several species you can choose from) aren't fussy as long as your room is filled with good indirect light. If you want plants in a dark corner, then try Sansevieria or Zamioculcas, but make sure the soil completely dries out between waterings.
What do people need to consider when choosing a house plant?
As said, natural light is very important but consider your lifestyle too. Do not hesitate to ask for expert advice when you are purchasing plants.
Check out the conservatory at Greenwich Grind.