Our green adventures started back in 2009 when we moved into a garden flat in East London. We rennovated a Japanese and Italian water garden from it’s overgrown past but with no prior garden experience we got stuck into the books and learned everything there was to know about pruning shrubs and planting. After the first year tidying the space up we were asked by a friend to join The National Garden Scheme. The scheme recognises gardens of quality and raises money for charity. It was a scary prospect of opening the garden to the scrutiny of the public. So we opened up for the first time and it was so exciting, we received some great positive feedback and some helpful tips from the seasoned gardeners! Subsequently, we open our garden every year.
We have since been featured on the BBC Great British Garden Revival, The Sunday Times, Abigal Will’s The New London Garden book amongst other publications.
Inspired by what we achieved with our garden, we decided to broaden our horizons after a trip to Ben’s homeland, South Africa, where we discovered a liking for succulent plants and container gardening.
On returning to London, we thought it would be good idea to build a miniature garden in a fish bowl. We found it to be quite addictive and relaxing, so we made several fish bowl gardens to display at our garden open days which received some fantastic comments from our visitors. One day, Darren took some into his office, when he worked as an IT Project Manager, and they quickly gained attention. A lot of colleagues told us this was a great idea to have gardens for the office as most of people did not have gardens at home to spend time in.
This got us thinking, that a person does not necessarily need an outdoor garden because the terrarium is an alternative option.
So in September 2016 we established Botanical Boys and formalised a plan to run terrarium masterclasses as well as building bespoke terrariums for people to buy.
Connection to the natural world is crucial more than ever and in a fast paced fragile world we live in today. It is good to be mindful of nature and connecting ourselves to it helps us in so many ways. Building a terrarium garden is not just healthy and fulfilling for your mind, body and spirit, but it is crucially beneficial to the environment it sits in and the plants you are protecting.
Love Plants, Love Life!
Ben & Darren