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Wellbeing With Plants | Jacqui Vidal

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
So many words spring to mind! Mum, small business owner, plant lover, yogi, housekeeper and general household peace moderator! Most relevant to this is that I'm the Co-Founder of IVY MUSE. Alongside best friend Alana Langan, we started IVY MUSE nearly five years ago and it's been five years of fun, laughter, learning and let's not forget the biggie - hard work!

(Photo: Armelle Habib Styling Heather Nette King for The Age)

What do you love most about indoor plants?

I love their ability to transform a place. After we wrote our book "Plant Style: How To Greenify Your Space", we had a lot of interest from customers as to whether we offered plant styling as a service - and of course we wanted to say yes. Now most weeks we're welcomed into homes and commercial spaces that, whilst lovely are lacking an air of "comfort" as they are devoid of plants. Being able to see first-hand the 'before' and 'after' effect of adding living plants into an environment makes me respect them even more. Not only do they have an amazing visual impact on the space, but clients seem more relaxed and noticeably less stressed once they've incorporated the benefits of plants into their life. 

How do indoor plants enhance your wellbeing?

They make me pause. Life is so busy with both an eight year-old and a nine month-old, plus running a business (and doing multiple loads of washing every day)! The simple act of 'giving' to your plants; watering them, pruning them, wiping dust off their leaves, acts as a moving meditation for me, time for my mind to be still as it connects to nature itself.

(Photo: Armelle Habib Styling Heather Nette King for The Age)

In what other ways do plants nurture you?

I'm lucky that I have a job that I love. On the days when I'm working in our Armadale Botanical Emporium I'm surrounded by plants, and from the moment I arrive to the moment I leave there is a sense of ease in my body. There's nothing like being surrounded by a lush jungle at work.

What's your favourite plant?

I have had a Pink Princess Philodendron for a couple of years now. It's so odd as I never used to like the colour pink and was quite the tomboy growing up. But, when I had my daughter Ellis 8 years ago and she turned out to be such a girly little girl, I caught the 'pink' bug! Especially when it comes to the softer, paler shades of pink. 

(Photo: Armelle Habib Styling Heather Nette King for The Age)

What do you find most difficult about plant care?
At the moment I'm struggling with keeping my baby from pulling off the lower leaves of our Fiddle, that happily resides in our living room! 

Has taking care of plants taught you anything insightful?

I've definitely noticed that everything has its own rhythm and routine. Plants are no different. They have their own intuitive cycles and once you find yourself wise to them,
plant care becomes a sixth sense!

(Photo: Armelle Habib / Styling: Heather Nette King for The Age)

What's another wellbeing practice you swear by?

When we opened our Armadale Botanical Emporium we were lucky enough to have the most welcoming neighbours in Happy Melon. Being right next door to an amazing yoga studio rekindled my love affair with yoga. I've been practicing since I was 19 and have tried so many styles of yoga over time but the vinyasa flow classes have been my go-to for the last couple of years.