Hilton Carter is an American freelance filmmaker, interior designer, plant stylist, and author. He grew up in Baltimore and gained fame majorly as a plant enthusiast. Hilton found his true calling as a plant stylist while working for an advertising agency. What he started as a novice with a few succulents in New Orleans has now become an empire, more appropriately a “green empire.” Hilton owns an apartment space in Baltimore, with a plethora of indoor plants, which he has now turned into a studio for photo blogging. He has garnered recognition on 'Instagram,' and his ‘Instagram’ account majorly features his most favorite “green pet,” “Frank.” He is often called “the plant doctor,” and makes appearances in 'Apartment Therapy’s plant-themed 'Instagram' account, '@iplanteven.' Hilton also owns a shopping website for his self-designed plant accessories. His book about plant-parenting, ‘Wild at Home: How to Style and Care for Beautiful Plants,’ released in April 2019.
Early Life & Education
Hilton was born on December 3, 1979, in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated with a BFA from the 'Maryland Institute College of Art' and then earned an MFA from the ‘Art Center College of Design in Pasadena,’ California.
Hilton’s rise as a plant stylist is genuinely phenomenal, as he spent many of his initial years amidst fake plants. He got to see some real greenery only after he moved to New Orleans, where he had a job in an advertising agency.
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Hilton was hit by the idea of plant-parenting in 2011, years after he had a career as a freelance filmmaker. He was in Pennsylvania, where he was shooting commercials for 'Erickson,' a retirement community. In between the campaign, he went to a garden cafe in Glen Mills to have lunch. Hilton was intrigued by the décor of the establishment and decided to recreate it at his home in Los Angeles.
Back in Los Angeles, Hilton began his search for an appropriate space for plant-parenting. At that time, he did not have adequate means to procure the requisites. In 2014, Hilton moved to New Orleans, where he learned more about plant-care in a closed space. He initially bought a few succulents and a golden pothos in the French quarter he lived in. The place had five floor-to-ceiling windows, perfect for his “green pets.” A few months later, his nursery including staghorn ferns and a giant fiddle leaf fig, which Hilton named “Frank.” He still owns the plant, colloquially known as “Treezus,” and it is one of his favorites. Frank’s pictures are now a hit on Hilton’s social-media platforms.
A few years into plant-parenting, Hilton moved back to his hometown and expanded his green work. He found an old cotton mill in Whitehall Mill, right next to the Jones Falls to accommodate his plants. The place is adorned with stone columns and original wood floors, which go well with his bohemian taste. He was fascinated by the location of the mill, as it gave him a great view of the river and had large windows to let in ample natural light. Hilton now has a little over 280 plants but has named only 15 of them. The aesthetically appealing plant-themed décor truly reflects Hilton’s style and personality. He calls his Whitehall Mill studio ‘Jungle by the Falls.’ He rents the space out for photo and film shoots. Hilton has now opened the space for local chefs to showcase their culinary skills for his 'Service at the Jungle' series, which is a dinner service amidst greenery. Hilton’s house in Hampden is also decked with plants. He lives there with his wife, dentist Dr. Fiona Vismans, two cats, and a dog.
In April 2019, Hilton launched his first book, 'Wild At Home: How to Style and Care for Beautiful Plants.' The book gives an insight into his home, in addition to offering plant-parenting tips. He also wrote and directed the 2009 short film 'Moth.' 'HBO Short Films' officially selected the movie. Hilton is active on 'Instagram,' where he posts pictures of his self-created jungles and his favorite, “Frank,” which have earned him over 175 thousand followers on the platform. He occasionally makes appearances on the 'Instagram' account '@iplanteven,' owned by interior designer Maxwell Ryan. Hilton also owns an online store, where he trades his self-designed vessels and various plant prints and accessories.