Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Swore I'd Never Do This


I’m breaking one of my own hard and fast rules. I’m posting pictures of my indoor plants on my blog. No offense to some of my loyal readers, but I generally eschew blogs from cold climate shut-in gardeners who revel in their Christmas cactus blooms and feel compelled to post a few hundred pics of them everyday whilst wistfully longing for the snow to melt and the crocus to pop up. As an aside, I also don’t care much for knowing what your cat vomited up this week or what’s going on at your quilting club. Call me a snob, but my plate spilled over long ago and I can only process so many blogging bits.

But I walked into my soon-to-be-laid-off-from office this morning and one of my hand-me-down orchids is gloriously blooming on the magical window ledge. I say magical because everyone in my building grovels in amazement at the ability of orchids and other shaggy plants to be resurrected in this space. Whenever a plant goes into cardiac arrest at their workstation, I receive a visit from a coworker asking if I can breathe life back into it. They figure that because I’m a landscape architect, I have a dusty tome of mystical incantations that bring plants back from the dead. I threaten to turn them into zombie plants that will stalk their cubicles at night, sucking the xylem and phloem from their languishing plants, but haven’t actually followed through.

What they don’t know is that my horticultural prowess is just the good fortune of having a great southeast exposure and the ability to detect when a plant is getting dry (lift it up – if it’s still heavy, it’s wet; if it feels light it’s dry). I also occasionally remember to put a few crystals of that hideously blue Miracle-Gro in the water once in a while. I know, I know – Miracle-Gro is just more petrochemical poison, but I had someone hand it off years ago and I’m too lazy to track down a good organic product. Hey, the same 6 oz. can has been serving me for a decade so what’s the harm.

With no further ado, I give you my window sill plants. No, I haven’t named them.









14 comments:

MikeTheGardenCoach said...

The yellow one is 'Becky' ;)

VW said...

Lovely plants. Friends bring their bedraggled houseplants to me, too. If I don't have a good place for them at home, I let them shrivel and die. But I have a number of lovely adopted plants around my house now. And I don't have a cat, so I promise not to tell you what he/she vomited!

scott said...

Houseplants? Really Billy. I much prefer the shaky video of you cruising around San Marcos Growers looking for plants.

Laura said...

You wrote, "but I generally eschew blogs from cold climate shut-in gardeners who revel in their Christmas cactus blooms and feel compelled to post a few hundred pics of them everyday whilst wistfully longing for the snow to melt and the crocus to pop up."

What are we supposed to do? Give up garden blogging for the winter? Sorry we don't have the same type of weather that you do.

By the way, I DO agree with you about cat vomit and quilting clubs. I don't agree about not posting pictures of flowers growing inside. If you don't like it, click on the "back" button!

keewee said...

Glad you didn't name your plants, and I also agree with you on all the extra, dare I say drivel, people fill their garden blogs with.

kate smudges said...

As one of those cold-climate bloggers who posts pictures of indoor flowers, well I can only say that not all of us can live in paradise. We revel in our indoor blooms because, to our colour-starved wintereyes, they look equally as beautiful as our outdoor flowers during summer.

Your Orchid looks gorgeous. You definitely have a knack with indoor plants.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hey, plants is plants, y'know? I'm not a big houseplant person, but I do live in a cold climate, so jeder wie er kann! (we do what we can...)

Claude said...

Hey... I like my house plants... They provide some color during the colder months... I'd have me a little diatribe, but you would not believe what the cat just hacked up... and all over my best quilt too!

Garden Wise Guy said...

Garden Wise Guy here: Looks like a struck a nerve. I do like stirring things up from time to time. Hey, I have absolutely no qualm with anyone who wants to blog about anything - more power to ya, 'cause there are alway birds of a feather who blog together. If you think it's interesting, others probably feel the same way. And despite the fact that I don't get snowed in and some readers might envy the climate I live in, I have an equal amount of envy for anyone who can grow a whole bunch of things I can't even consider putting in my palette. Moving on...

Mike: Thanks for the identification of Becky the yellow orchid. I inherited it from a co-worker who was moving to Hawaii - ironic, isn't it?

VW: Isn't it flattering that people want to entrust their ailing plants to you. It's also an awesome responsibility that should not be taken lightly. I usually have them fill out a simple two page release form indemnifying me from wrongful death claims.

Scott: I regret that I succumbed to writing about such a plebeian topic as house plants. Actually, I found out they're not endemic to houses or plant shops. As for my shaky videos, there's another one in the works about the first leg of my journey to the SF Flower + Garden shindig.

Laura: Please, please, please write about whatever gets your juices flowing. I was expressing my lack of interest, but by no means trying to censor you. You just won't see me in your statcounter.com graph.

Keewee: I'd never name my plants; it would make all the worms in my vermiculture composter jealous.

Dearest, tundra-maddened Saskatuanian Kate (may I call you "your smudgeness"?): I really don't live in paradise--my wife makes me carry out the recycling EVERY WEEK! Aside from that, it's pretty freakin' bitchen here. By all means, blog on, especially with your feast of sensuously edible photos.

Monica: I couldn't agree more that "plants is plants" (I'm not grading on the use of crude slang on the midterm). What language is that?

Claude: Touche! Snappy comeback, dude. Sorry 'bout your quilt; just promise me you won't devote a post to it. I like my window sill plants too and dote over them like a transexual mother hen. As previously mentioned, I just don't spend a lot of time at the blogs of house plant lovers.

All: tomorrow I'll post a link to my biweekly Edhat.com column about some archaeological research I've been doing. Be sure to catch "Question Mark and the Mysterians"

Claude said...

Personally, I avoid bloggs containing excruciating detailed instructions for a three week knitting project that results in one extremely colorful and supremely ugly sock... also scrapbooking. I never understood scrapbooking. But, blog on people!

Ross said...

Ha ha...if it wasn't such a sensitive bunch out there - with all the flower close-ups this would have been your most picked blotanical post? I'm with Scott, I enjoy shaky videos more - but I would like to know what the plant with the leopard spots is?

Phoenix C. said...

I too would like to know what the plant with the spots is, please?

Garden Wise Guy said...

Phoenix C and Ross: The plant with the spots is Ledeboria socialis. I use it outdoors in morning sun or part shade situations. Makes a great little ground cover (no foot traffic, though).

Rosemary said...

Canadian Gardener I am ,if you don't appreciate houseplants and the blogs that feature them in the winter that is your loss......... I am broad minded enough to appreciate blogs about desert plants tho I can't grow them, anything to keep the brain cells simulated.