How Ian Drummond is looking to the future with his new botanical design business

on Friday, 08 April 2022. Posted in News

Ian Drummond has always been ahead of the game when it comes to indoor plants, having started in the business aged just 13.

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He has 35 years experience designing planting schemes for the corporate and hospitality sector business and is now concentrating on consultancy and creative event planting projects.
Drummond and his business partners sold Indoor Garden Design to Nurture Landscapes in 2021, leaving the office contracts to Nurture.

The designer has relaunched the new edition of At Home With Plants, his bestselling and pioneering 2017 book, written with Kara O'Reilly. The celebratory event to mark the book and new business, Ian Drummond Botanical Design, was at St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, where Drummond put on his Living With Nature exhibition in 2013, marking his career’s silver jubilee.

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He says he wants to use his indoor plant design skills more widely in the future: "Anything to do with houseplants. Last week I was on an Ikea houseplant panel - lots of people approach me because I suppose after all these years I know a thing or two about them. I don't want to take over the world - I think I've already done that! It's important now just to work on projects I'll enjoy."

At RHS Chelsea Flower Show in September 2021, Drummond's disco-themed The Green Room houseplant studio became the symbol of the show's comeback, complete with drag queen DJ and fluorescent pink macrame ropes hanging a shed filled with plants from a sturdy plane tree. The studios debuted at the show as the first dedicated Chelsea houseplant area, after years of being "squeezed" into spare corners of the event.
Drummond is pleased the RHS now has a focus on houseplants rather than just lumping them in with floristry and he is central to the new RHS indoor plant committee. He also hopes to be back at Chelsea (maybe with Ikea who he has worked with at the show twice before) in the future.

The RHS is attempting to go peat-free on houseplants, but lack of supply is an issue. Drummond recognises this but says some Belgian growers are moving forward and that could encourage the Dutch to follow. "I think it's crucial. Corporate clients are already asking and soon they will insist. It needs to change and it will change quite soon. It's still very small and growers will need to change fast. I hope someone like Ikea will insist."
Drummond says the question he hears most often is which is the right plant for every space in the house. He recommends a houseplant for each room: bedroom - Sanseveria for its oxygen giving properties; bathroom - Vanda orchids watered in the shower; living room - Ficus to bring the garden indoors; kitchen - herbs on the windowsill.

At Home With Plants (Mitchell Beazley) goes further with Right Plant Right Room ideas.

Living Room: urn plant, Norfolk Island palm, fan plant, Natal lily, false aralia, Mexican gem, pink quill, Cape primrose, moth orchid, rose grape, Indian laurel and fiddle-leaf fig.

Kitchen: Flamingo flower, money tree, NSW rock lily, glaucous echeveria, kalanchoe, Boston fern, Madagascar jasmine, peace lily, devil's ivy, Christmas cactus, African violet, moth orchid.

Bedroom: Madagascar jasmine, Barbados sloe, spider plant, Cape jasmine, Barberton lily, English ivy, arrowhead vine, peace lily, devil's ivy, mother-in-law's tongue, staghorn fern, moth orchid.

Bathroom: Moth orchid, Barbados sloe, zebra plant, bird's nest fern, parlour palm, spider plant, Vanda orchid, peace lily, philodendron, rose grape, English ivy, venus fly trap.


Article courtesy of Matthew Appleby, Horticulture Week