ISSUE 43  |  Small Living

The Plant Portraits of Mieke Verbjilen

October 25, 2012 11:00 AM

BY Justine Hand

Celebrating the reciprocal relationship between plants and their humans, a Belgian photographer captures the joy that even the smallest succulent can bring.

Belgian artist Mieke Verbijlen “can’t imagine a life without plants.” “Plants are different from things,” she says, “because you have to take care of them… It’s a nice way to start the day, watering the plants and seeing how they grow.” It is this special bond, so evident in her portraits, that sets Mieke’s work apart. So full of life and character, her images capture, not only the beauty and lush variety of plants, but also their rich personalities.

You can see more of Mieke’s work on Mieke Willems, a blog she shares with her friend, Veronik.

Above: Craning toward the light, a fig tree graces the apartment of Mieke’s friends Charlotte and Miljan.

Above: Mieke’s own pileas looks jolly in the morning sun. If you’re craving one (we are!), a Pilea Peperomiodies is $4 from Clackamas.

Above: Many of Mieke’s atmospheric images appear in the book, Me and My Plant, which celebrates the relationship between person and plant.

Above: Usually more sophisticated, in a modern minimalist kind of way, a blooming succulent is feeling playful today.

Above: Channeling romantic mystery, a purple oxalis wraps itself in shadow. For a similar plant, an 8-inch tall potted Oxalis Regnellii ‘Triangularis’ is $12 from Plant Delights.

Above: She may be airy and delicate, but this feathery geranium is climbing to new heights.

Above: Perched on a vintage desk, an unruly rhipsalis looks like he’s in a mischievous mood. For a similar look, a potted Trailing Rhipsalis is $18.48 from Lowe’s. (N.B.: For more inspiration, see 777 images of House Plants in our Gallery of Rooms and Spaces.)