I’m getting the sneaking suspicion that I should maybe get off this “I want to be a writer for a living” kick and try and save up money for a farm, because plants seem to be all I’ve focused on this past month.
Somehow, without planning on it, I started thinking of nearly every size and shade tolerance of plant that I could bring to my home. I’ve planted trees many times over the years, on my second year of a veggie garden, planted flowers around said trees, and actually tackled shrubs.
The only thing I hadn’t tried to do was houseplants.
Ironic because I don’t have a place to put them just yet, since my house is the messiest it’s ever been right now.
But then again, there’s some incentive to get things cleaned up and moved out to storage faster that I didn’t have before. I already know where I want to put my bamboo and my orchids, and a few other houseplants. No ivy, I hate having to pick the dead leaves off and sometimes they get left to rot in random places.
I’ve been trying hard to figure out the best way to organize what I’ve got, and I realized that in some respects, I just have too much stuff and a big chunk of it needs to go out, anyway. I have a leather window bench that I bought for my old library/office, but it takes up space more than anything right now. I like it, but it just doesn’t fit the decor and atmosphere at all. I can keep it for extra seating or when I get to moving things out of the art room (heavy furniture and a pointless gun safe taking up most of the space), then I can put it in front of that window in there. And then there’s a wooden bench I’ve had by the back door. I may still keep it there, but if I’m needing the space, I’m sure there are plenty of other places I can use it. It kinda needs fixing up a bit, anyway, thanks to dogs scratching the finish with their nails. That was the first piece of furniture I moved into this new house, and I really don’t want to part with it. Like the other bench, it could be extra seating or I could put it on the deck, even though it won’t match the rest of the furniture. Still thinking.
A lot of things went onto the burn pile yesterday, especially the boxes that have piled up over time that I had to remind myself I don’t need to save anymore. So, that freed up some room.
And I know the places I want to put the plants. Most of them, anyway.
I wanted to have some plants inside because of the extra bit of green, probably the one color my interior lacks the most. But mostly I got them as a way to help purify the air. Some plants are better than others in removing certain chemical traces in the home atmosphere, and I’m curious how well I’ll feel with much cleaner air, and if I’ll notice the difference. Even if I don’t feel any different, it’s a good idea.
The tricky part was finding plants that my exploring, curious pups wouldn’t end up getting sick on if they decided to take a nibble. I was surprised to see how many common houseplants are rather toxic toward animals, and I wanted to make sure to avoid those whenever possible.
So, I went out and got some lucky bamboo that I stuck in their own pot (they were sold as the individual canes, a suction vial holding water to keep ’em going). I thought I made it look cool, and perhaps help the roots with their thirst, by adding pond rocks all over the top of the soil. It works nice to hold the canes straight, too, so that was nice. I think it looks cool and is just the thing to go with my Japanese-inspired decor. That and the orchids.
I’d never bought orchids or even had them before–like any of the plants I’m talking about–but I like the look of them. I lucked out that at least two were in decent shape and then I took them out of their original planters and combined them into one bigger planter.
I mostly got palms, or palm cousins with big banana leaves, and some other big-leaf plants that help out the air. Different sizes and looks so it’s not boring, and if I have a problematic area where one plant wouldn’t go so well, I have a backup. I also got something I’d always wanted, but have to do some careful reading on to make sure I treat it right: a venus flytrap. Two, actually. I don’t know what it is about my herb garden, but i’ve been putting the rolling shelf outside on the deck in the wind and sun the past few days because the gnats were getting irritating. Dunno why they show up as soon as my seedlings get going strong, but they do. Insecticidal soap only does so much, so I figured maybe a few Venus Flytraps will help out. I’ve always been interested in them and can’t wait to see them in action.
So now, unless one of my plants anywhere in the property dies a terrible horrible death, I can’t possibly buy any more plants. My credit account will thank me for my sacrifice, I’m sure. I can’t believe I spent so much on plants, but it wasn’t just the plants. I wanted better planters to put them in, sturdier ones than the resin or plastic ones I use for the herbs, because obviously these plants were gonna be a lot bigger. And more than that, for easy cleaning, I got plenty of those roller caddies to put the overflow saucer and planter on. Those are lifesavers when you need to clean, because I can just roll it aside a bit, sweep under the spot, roll it right back. No dragging or risking tipping it over to make a bigger mess. But those roller caddies are a bit pricey, at least the wooden ones I got were. I have two already from years ago, but they needed some repair work (wood glue and clamps to the rescue). That’s where the price went a bit nuts, getting several of those at once.
So, I’ve officially worn myself out with today’s activities. I rushed to get maybe half the plants put in pots before it got too dark to see, and in the morning, I’m going to tackle the rest and get it done.
My poor house itself needs some attention, and I’m not looking forward to re-arranging the tornado of debris all around. But I can certainly say–now–that there’s no more need to spend on my interests for quite some time.
Nice to know I can NOW stop before it gets THAT bad.