Before we get started, let me tell you a little bit about me.  My name is Ailsa Francis and I come about plants honestly :c)

I received my diploma in Horticulture in 1995 from Algonquin College in Ottawa and have been making my own way in the world of plants and gardens ever since. Before that I studied the Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa and then obtained a Masters Degree in the History of Art from the University of Toronto.

In 1997 I opened what became a very popular gardening store here in Ottawa called Hortus Urbanus. I had great pleasure running the store for ten years during which time I must have sold thousands of plants (and garden accessories) to happy customers. I was attracted to the beautiful and unusual but was also motivated to carry indoor plants that were considered “bullet-proof” so that even customers who had “black thumbs” would succeed. I never sold a plant to someone who I knew couldn’t keep it alive! I even had one customer admit that she came back when I wasn’t working, bought the plant she wanted but that I told her she couldn’t have as her conditions weren’t right. She returned to the store a few weeks later after (as I would have predicted) it had died. We had a good laugh and I put a better plant in her hands to take home.

From 2009 to 2016 I was the bi-weekly gardening columnist for the Ottawa Citizen newspaper and at the same time ran my own gardening business. I still do the latter and most (if not all!) of my clients have been with me from the very beginning. Like our gardens, our indoor plant collections morph and change depending on our tastes, our dedication, our growing experience and our sense of adventure. It is never the same plants for everyone - and that's what makes it so interesting.

Let me introduce you to the houseplants that best suit you and your indoor space and give you instructions so that you can best manage their care and see them thrive! And make your indoor spaces green and beautiful.