Blooming Boys: In Conversation with @BoysWithPlants

Josh Milton
November 18, 2017

Boys go great with a lot of things. Whilst commitment isn’t usually one of them: boys and coffee, boys and books, and especially boys and plants are all harmonious together.

Plants are often semiotically grouped with femininity, but men have started to cultivate their own symbolic efficiency when they pummeled the pavement of Columbia Road Flower Market and their local B&Qs. Plants are everywher- ok, to be honest, enough talk; let’s look at some pretty boys. We quizzed the budding Instagram @BoysWithPlants all about how they pick their #InstaBotanicalBoys and how plants can be #masc.

How did the idea of ‘Boys with Plants’ come about?

I have another plants-themed account and a ‘plant-friend’ I met through it on Insta and I used to share images between each other of handsome men with plants. Then I decided more people might like to see them and Boys with Plants was born!

Your feed is user-generated; how do you choose the boys to post and feature?

I try to show a variety of guys from all over the world of every background. Loving plants is truly a universal experience and brings us all together! I also choose a variety of contexts: Boys in their plant-filled homes, in greenhouses and gardens, in forests and jungles, etc and with a variety of different types of plants.

With this in mind, there is the occasional exception but generally, I look for:

  • a beautiful quality, sharp, in-focus image,
  • both boys and plants in the image (amazing how many people use the hashtag #boyswithplants and don’t have a boy in the shot!),
  • plants should take up more than 50% of the image,
  • plants should be the focus, not just a guy with indistinguishable plants in the background,
  • no obvious filters (a slight colour correction/touch up is ok),
  • no white borders.

I’m always looking for something exceptional! I get 40-50 submissions daily and many of them are perfect for the page but I can’t post them all so I’m looking for images with that extra something something.

Plants have often been associated with femininity, do you think your account is working to help men blossom and broaden out of the masculine scripts?

I guess so although this didn’t occur to me when starting this page. So many comments on the posts are girls saying they want to find a guy like this so maybe more straight guys might consider taking up gardening if they’re looking for someone special! Personally, though, I’m just a guy that enjoys my balcony garden and sharing images of guys who enjoy plants and I’m not bothered about what it says about masculinity or femininity.

Who are your top-5 boys with plants?

There are so many amazing boys with plants but I guess, in no particular order: