Got a slightly green thumb but don’t know where to start? Here’s the ultimate urban jungle that might just inspire you.
Model and sustainable living guru Summer Rayne Oaks has turned her two-bedroom Brooklyn apartment into a forest.
“When my roommate moved out nearly six years ago it took me a few months to recognize that I could make the place my own,” she says.
But she now has over 500 plants and counting in her unique indoor garden in Brooklyn.
Oaks says that after moving from the country to the city she wanted to create a calm living environment.
Summer Rayne Oaks
Succulents can be quite hardy, but still need some attention.
Named by Vanity Fair in 2008 as a “global citizen”, Oaks has an impressive resume when it comes to green living.
She’s been part the startup scene for the last seven years working on sustainable food and fashion ventures. She has also been modeling for around 12 years.
Summer Rayne Oaks takes great care of her plants.
Oaks says when it comes to taking care of her plant babies the trick is to always have contingency plans.
“If I leave for a long period of time, I have a gardener up the street that can come and take care of my plants. But otherwise, I’ve started to automate my system. I have a sub-irrigated green wall, and a lot of self-watering systems as well.”
Light, temperature and humidity are key factors when considering plants for your home.
Oaks explains that knowing what direction the windows face, what temperatures the property experiences throughout the year, and what the humidity is like will help extend the lives of any indoor beauties.
“If it’s like my house in the winter, I have to crank up a humidifier to keep certain plants happy. Don’t necessarily get a plant or plants because they’re ‘cool’— get the plants that will work for your conditions in your home.”
Some self-reflection is also essential.
“Acknowledge whether you’d be a good ‘plant parent’. If you’re a little lazy or you travel a lot, then I would suggest getting plants that can deal with a little benign neglect, like ZZ plants, dracaenas, and snake plants. Succulents work well too, but you need a lot of sunlight.”
“I can’t tell you enough how much the plants in my home have transformed my space, calmed me, and have made me feel truly at home.”
Oakes’ book Sugar Detox Me is available here and more information about her other projects can be found here.