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Chats / Eliza Blank of The Sill
courtesy of Lauren Juratovac
courtesy of Lauren Juratovac

Meet Eliza Blank, the ultimate lady boss of The Sill, a bohemian plant shop in the Lower East Side. Eliza grew up in Massachusetts and moved to New York City to go to NYU for communications. During her move from a rural green area to the concrete jungle of Manhattan, she started missing nature; which is how The Sill was born. “I really wanted some greenery [in my living space], and there was a gap in the market for what I was looking for. In 2012, I launched The Sill.” We sat down with Eliza to talk plants and neighborhood favorites. 

courtesy of Daily Harvest
courtesy of Daily Harvest

Why potted plants and not flower bouquets?

I see them as totally different things. The intent and inspiration was that I did not have natural greenery in my apartment or in my life, as opposed to what I was used to, and that lends itself more to plants than flowers. Flowers are beautiful but they are not sustainable. They die in a few weeks and gifting them feels more romantic. Plants, and specifically potted ones, are a great catch-all; they work for thank you gifts for a colleague or friend, and great for housewarming gifts. They are also very sustainable – they last forever! I want to de-mystify the care of plants for people who didn’t grow up around them like I did.

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For those without a green thumb, what type of plant do you recommend that’s low-maintenance?

For new plant owners, it’s important to understand what you’re capable of. Do you want something that you can take care of everyday? Once a week? Once a month? You have to find the perfect plant for your lifestyle. At The Sill, we help decide what works best for you and your lifestyle and environment. For example, if you live in a basement apartment with no sunlight, you probably will have a hard time taking care of a plan that would thrive in a high-rise apartment with lots of natural light.

courtesy of Sidney Bensimon
courtesy of Sidney Bensimon
courtesy of The Sill
courtesy of The Sill

So if you live in an apartment without natural sunlight, you can still have plants that survive?

Yes! The ZZ plant and the Snake plant are perfect, as they are indestructible and can survive in a low-light environment.

Recommend a plant for…

High rise (super tall) glass tower, presuming it gets a lot of light:

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The Fiddle Leaf Fig tree is hard to manage unless you have a perfectly consistent environment; central air, bright light, big windows.

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Downtown loft / walk up:

The Monstera deliciosa because it’s really cool and downtown chic.

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Bohemian Bungalow:

philodendron.

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Man Cave:

The Snake plant; it’s very masculine.

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For the Modern / Minimalistic:

A pencil cactus.

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For the Ultra Glam:

The bird of paradise or a Neanthe bella palm.

Where do you go when you want to immerse yourself in NYC culture?

Washington Square Park. I went to school around there and to me, the village represents iconic New York. It’s a little gritty, bohemian and contemporary, but when I think of bright lights/big city, I think of Washington Square Park. I lived there when I first moved to NYC, so it’s very iconic for me. 

What are your favorite places to dine in your neighborhood, the West Village? 

Rosemary’s for a night out with the girls, Jack’s Wife Freda for a low-key date night, brunch at Cafe Cluny, and Employees Only or The SoHo Grand for cocktails, because of the beautiful outdoor space. 

 

courtesy of Around the World with the Duchess
courtesy of Around the World with the Duchess

Is there a notable garden that inspires you?

Locally, I really love the New York Botanical Garden. In Palm Springs, there is this gorgeous botanical garden called Sunnylands.

What’s your go-to cocktail?

Dirty Martini.

Favorite coffee shop?

O Cafe has great coffee, and a trendy one I love is Birch.

Favorite interior shop?

Aero.

Favorite interior designer?

Danielle Arps.

Number one on your ultimate wish list right now?

Parachute home bedding.

courtesy of Lake Placid Lodge
courtesy of Lake Placid Lodge

Favorite travel destination?

The Adirondacks because you can completely unplug and unwind. It’s beautiful and the weather is perfect (no humidity!). I have family up there, so to me it’s a place to unwind with them. I stay with my family when I go, but if you go for a visit, stay at the Lake Placid Lodge and rent a boat on Lake Placid.

The Sill / 84 Hester Street between Allen and Eldridge Streets