Meet The Aroid Attic and The Botanical Archive
Run by Charlotte Durrant, The Aroid Attic is an independent business that takes great pride in being an oasis of green, full from floor to ceiling with many different species of plants for customers to browse and be surrounded by. This year, Charlotte will be teaming up with Mohammed Bhula, founder of The Botanical Archive, for their 2022 Chelsea Houseplant Studio design ‘Social Media vs Reality’.
An aroid living in an attic
Charlotte began gardening as a toddler, helping her parents and grandparents most weekends whilst growing up.
She says, “Like many, I truly got into plants as a way of relaxing after a life changing event when I was 17. I would spend my spare days getting lost in the garden at home, tending to the plants and learning about the pleasures of horticulture.”
The combination of Charlotte’s attic bedroom and her first houseplant purchase of a Monstera Deliciosa (also known as a Cheese Plant, part of the aroid family) influenced the name of her Instagram account, ‘The Aroid Attic’.
The Instagram account documents Charlotte’s plants and shares interesting facts.
“Over the three years I was at university I collected over 200 houseplants and came home every weekend to tend to them!”.
Charlotte’s family encouraged her to ‘mix her obsession with plants with building her career’ after she felt lost when concluding her time at university. The Aroid Attic pop-up shop was born and opened in a local independent café in October 2018, and less than a year later, the Aroid Attic opened their first permanent shop in Cheltenham in May 2019!
Get to know Mo
Mohammed Bhula, owner of The Botanical Archive, will be joining Charlotte this year at Chelsea to bring their vision to life. Just like Charlotte, Mo began an Instagram account as a hobby page to document and support the growth of the plants he owned.
Since 2019 when The Botanical Archive was created, the account has grown to have a following of over 10,000 alongside an ever-expanding collection of plants in Mo’s own home!
Last year Mo joined the board of the newly formed European Aroid Society as treasurer, and has established strong links with collectors and botanists around the world.
He explains, “I am hoping to grow the brand as a botanical design company following our display at Chelsea.”
“I have a passion for plants from the Araceae family (Aroids) and neotropical begonia. Key highlights from my collection include Anthurium Carlablackiae and Philodendron Spiritus Sanci, both of which will be displayed at Chelsea.”
Charlotte and Mo found friendship through Instagram four years ago and soon discovered they lived only ten minutes apart!
Social Media vs RealityRHS Silver Gilt Medal Winner
The Aroid Attic and The Botanical Archive will be showcasing their vision ‘Social Media vs Reality’ in Malvern’s Flat Roof Studio.
Charlotte shared a sneak peak into her and Mo’s design intent: “One half of our design focuses on the perfection of what people see and share on social media; it will be a representation of a social media ‘feed’.
“This part of our design incorporates the well-known Ikea glass cabinet converted into a greenhouse, full of popular and rare indoor plants that ‘trend’ online.”
Mo continued, “The second half of our design will focus more on the hidden side of social media and horticulture at home. This is to reflect the reality that a lot of people without a private outdoor space at home end up using surfaces such as coffee tables to do their potting on and propagation.”
Charlotte’s father, Martyn Durrant will also be joining them at Chelsea. She said, “My father has been a huge help with building our design in the studio and will also be working with us throughout the week of Chelsea.”
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
24 – 28 May 2022
Meet the 2022 Designers
We know what a positive impact well designed spaces can have on quality of life, and we’re thrilled to be collaborating with designers who understand the extraordinary benefits of houseplants.