Interview with Maria Ocheretyanaya, founder of My Botanica

When love for nature merges with desire to be surrounded by beautiful things, a project like My Botanica comes into existance.

Maria Ocheretyanaya's love for herbariums has grown into a full project with creation of airy herbarium pictures, cachepots, accessories for plants and interior design items. These Falcon mini tumblers, holding succulents or cacti, are our favorites. These little guys will be a nice design feature for your office desk and will look equally great on a window sill or a bookcase. Easy to care for, low maintenance and absolutely cute. A good gift for a friend.

Masha told us how My Botanica project has started and gave some useful tips on potted plants care.

Maria, tell us about the birth of My Botanica project?

I love plants in any form. While I was decorate my new home, I gradually accumulated a small greenery. Then one day I had to come up with an idea for decoration of monotone white walls in my home. White background herbariums didn't look particularly good on white walls, because of two different shades of white put next together, so I came up with an idea to put it in a double glass. I found on the  internet later, that something like this, but framed in metal, is done using the Tiffany technology. The plant/wood combination is the best, to my liking. Because ready-made frames didn't really suit our purpose, my boyfriend and I designed an all-new frame construction and found a professional, specializing in solid wood frames.

This is how the story with the pictures began. Later on we started to develop a product line of interesting plant care accessories. And later we designed our signature cache pots.

When I felt that this whole botanical story has secured a hold on my own mind, I thought that other people might also like it. Today My Botanica does a lot of collaborations with interior designers and gets individual orders for greening and decoration of different places.

Where do you get plants for your pictures? Do you still dry it between books pages, like we did when we were kids?

We started like that, sure. By the way, this isn't a bad drying method. I am now using a big professional herbarium press. We are also partnering with a young and interesting brand. The guys make very handy and pretty plant presses and frames. We very often use those.

We collect the plants everywhere and always. This is a really captivating activity, impossible to stop. We often bring the samples from our travels and so do our friends.

Items that we sell are mostly pictures with stabilized plants which is a special way of plant preservation, when the natural liquid of the plant is replaced with glycerine based solution. We purchase stabilized plants from European sellers.

Are Falcon mini tumblers good for succulents and cacti?

Definitely good. How can such pretty tumblers be bad for plants?

How to take care for them? How often to water? What's the best place to put them?

Succulents and cacti are quite low maintenance plants. The main rules of care are: insufficient watering is better than excessive, and the light has to be soft and diffused. All our customers receive a memo on plants care. They can also contact us after the purchase to get recommendations and we replace the plant if it gets sick or dies.

Do plants grow out with time, requiring a bigger pot?

All living plants definitely grow with time. Some quicker than others, as all plants have different root systems. There is over ten thousand species of succulent plants and while some grow by leaps and bounds, others show almost no change over six months.

Is it true that a good spot for cacti and succulents is on a desk by your computer (the theory being they absorb radiation)?

In our point of view, this is a theory that doesn't really comply with botanical science. But we surely wouldn't want to open debates with plant growers on that subject. People can choose to believe what they want. One thing I can say for sure: cacti and succulents will be good anywhere you put them, especially if they are planted in those pretty Falcon mini tumblers, your work place being no exception. Everyone in My Botanica team are visual people, we like minimalism in everything.

Buy succulent in a pot or a cactus.

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