How it began
In 2013, we launched The Horticult, which chronicled our blossoming interest in gardening and design. We struggled, we strived, and we learned to keep our plants alive, all while Ryan furnished the 1,800-square-foot urban garden with experimental designs grabbing inspiration from tours of public, botanical, and home gardens. We interviewed and reported back what we learned from the experts in the industry. We were newbies. We asked the questions people are usually scared to ask! We discovered and shared it all on the blog and occasionally served it up with some herb-garnished cocktail recipes. The Horticult is a plant lovers’ guide to enjoying a plant-infused lifestyle. It was fun, and…now it’s even more fun, with some experience under our belts.
A new Los Angeles garden!
In 2015, Chantal resettled in Los Angeles, where she is building another garden. Today we are business partners, friends and now co-authors of our first book. The Horticult continues to grow!
Our publisher, Clarkson Potter initially passed on the more general gardening lifestyle book that we proposed. But then they asked if we wanted to write a book on window boxes. At first the topic seemed a bit out of left field, but we soon realized it was a perfect fit—our chance to reinvent one of the most classic container gardens on the planet.
We hope you like all the surprises that you’ll find in the book, from the grow lights for the herbs to drop shelves for monsteras to embedded vase holders for spring blooms!
We have other surprises up our sleeves too—such as bringing some of Ryan’s designs to market. We’ve slowed down on the blog posts (although we are very active on Instagram) only because we’ve been busier than ever working on new ways to share the excitement that we have for gardening, and the sense of personal style that the industry needs. So please stay tuned as we get our hands dirty building the new content! Thank you for your patience <3
About Chantal Aida Gordon
Born in Brooklyn and raised in the suburbs outside D.C., Chantal was a bookish kid aspiring to be an astrophysicist. After the realities of high school physics threw a wrench in her plans, she threw herself into writing. At New York University, she studied journalism and psychology, and later went on to work at Vogue and NBC. But as she wrote about shoe trends and pasta recipes, she remained, secretly, a science person.
While researching a novel about a community garden in Harlem, she learned more about rare plants and general horticulture, and brought some of her floral obsessions to what would become The Horticult Garden and The Horticult blog, which she co-founded with Ryan Benoit in 2013. In 2016 she received her MFA in fiction writing from the MFA Program at Warren Wilson College (overseen by a stellar faculty and a stunning forestland of pines) and in 2017, her novella, Fulfillment, was published in American Short Fiction. She now lives in Northeast Los Angeles, where she’s working on her own little garden, to be unveiled soon. Plants she’s planting right now include thunbergia, Solanum valerianum ‘Navidad, Jalisco,’ and native wildflowers and sages. She’s also experimenting with an espaliered Valencia orange tree, and will report back on how espaliered plants can add whimsy to compact city living.
About Ryan Benoit
Born in Springfield, Massachusetts and raised in Ellington, Connecticut (a small cow-town outside of Hartford) Ryan grew up working outdoors through endless yard and patio projects tasked by his parents. Ryan left Connecticut to attend school at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, where he got a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and currently works as a full time civil service engineer for the United States Navy.
But it was in the after-hours that Ryan found his passion for designing with plants, and rediscovered his connection to the outdoors. Now in San Diego, and free of cold winters, Ryan started working year-round designing and building plant-infused outdoor rooms across the 1,800-square-foot concrete backyard rental property, which became the headquarters for The Horticult. His love for plants is only exceeded by his love for making the planter or landscape for it to live in.
Aside from co-operating the gardening blog, Ryan launched Ryan Benoit Design, where he takes on select commission pieces and landscape design projects, and continues to build prototypes for future product lines of unique furniture, fixture and planter designs.
Most recently in 2019, Ryan started dedicating most of his time to building his SkyPots business. Patents, trademarks, product development, manufacturing, photoshoots, video-shoots, packaging, distribution and now fulfillment is a bit time consuming! SkyPots presents an all-new way to vertical garden with your everyday clay pots. Available for purchase now at SkyPots.com.