Lotte Janssens of Belle Fleur de Lis might be my new favorite person of all time. She’s like a more talented, more well-spoken version of me, right down to the curly red hair! Lotte is a lacemaker and crocheter who has spent time as a florist and is an amateur botanist, a combination of passions that shows in the delicate, fragile nature of her textiles, the clean simplicity of her photographs and her uncomplicated approach to everything from work to design to how she cares for her plants. I asked Lotte if she would mind answering some questions for me: a request that she obliged. Below is our interview, edited for ease of reading. I hope you find her answers as genuine and charming as I do!
Have you always been interested in plants? When did your interest begin?
I can’t remember when I was not fascinated by plants, and the first time I saw the apartment I live in I fell in love with the veranda, just the perfect space and it became my little plant paradise, my own little inside garden-working atelier.
Do you have a greenthumb?
I don’t know. I just follow the feeling I have towards the plant, and I gather information out of secondhand books about them.
Do you have any tips for people who struggle growing plants indoors?
People who don’t have any experience with plants and want to take care of a houseplant might first try a plant that is easy to care for, like perhaps a chlorophytum, or a tradescantia. They grow fast and are very easy to cultivate – they just need a bright space and water and time. The most important factors in having indoor plants are that you have enough light in your indoor space and that you give them enough attention. Try to get a book about how to take care of an indoor plant to make sure you are doing the right things; you have to cultivate a lot of interest in them. After some time, you can try to grow a more difficult plant. Also, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It is always possible that something goes wrong: it can even happen to me.
What are some of your favorite plants?
Pilea peperomioides, it is also know as Chinese money plant and in my language we call him “Pannenkoekenplant.” I also like the avocado: the whole growing process of the plant is fascinating. It is really a plant that asks a lot of patience from you, but afterwards you will be the proud owner of a special and lovely plant. I am also very glad with my chlorophytum plant , he gets so many babies and that’s so nice to see.
How has your experience growing plants affected your art or worldview?
I can’t imagine my life without plants – they have a good effect on me and in some way I can always link them back to the things I make. Plants around me give me good energy, and they are an inspiration and they become a big and important part in the creating process of my crochetwork. And also plants can even bring people together from all around the world and that’s amazing.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
It’s always wonderful to have a plant, if it is a big one or just a very little one.
Photos © Lotte Janssens.
For more wisdom and some truly excellent lacework, head over to Belle Fleur de Lis.