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  • Writer's pictureJim Bessman

Oak trees and avocado plants grow in Ilex Studio vases at NY NOW

Ilex Studio

Ilex Studio's exhibition booth at NY NOW

London’s Ilex Studio was founded in 2018 with a “grow it, don’t throw it” philosophy in creating products that highlight the beauty of nature and inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate plants and trees.

At last week’s winter 2020 NY NOW home/lifestyle/handmade/gift market trade show at New York’s Javits Center, then, Ilex brought a pair of vases geared to sprouting avocado seeds and acorns into respective plants and trees.

“We want people to grow a seed from what they have around them,” said the company’s Amy Hall, explaining that “what you find under trees at the park can grow into a small oak tree.”

Designed for urban dwellers, tree lovers, inquisitive children and design enthusiasts looking to bring nature indoors, the Acorn Vase provides an effective platform for an oakling (young oak tree) to thrive for up to a year while receiving essential nutrients from the acorn. Once matured, the oakling can be replanted outside, and the dishwasher safe vase reused for a new acorn.

But the “grow it, don’t throw it” motto particularly pertains to the Avocado Vase--a refinement of the traditional method of sticking toothpicks into the avocado seed and suspending it over a water glass, partially submerged. As with the Acorn Vase, the seed is instead cradled in the opening of the vase, thereby keeping it dry as it sprouts, its roots able to flourish freely.

Additionally, the minimalist shape of the vase magnifies the roots and centering attention on the plant as it matures.

Ilex Studio says its focus on trees addresses climate change, and reflects its commitment to furthering global reforestation by encouraging others to grow and plant trees. In a promotional card for the Avocado Vase, it quotes renowned British naturalist David Attenborough: “An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.”



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