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Slice 85 of 365

About a year and a half ago I started getting back into house plants. I’ve given up outside gardening because it’s just too hard here between the lack of water and the abundant harsh sunshine. 

When I was a kid my parents had house pants and gardens outside, flower and vegetable. I did a lot of the planting and as I got older they would just buy me flats of whatever and I would go nuts planting where ever I wanted. I loved making rock gardens and also planting bulbs, daffodils and tulips were and still are my favorites. 

When I moved out at 22 I took cuttings of my parent’s houseplants and started my own collection.  My new place was the second floor of a two family house and had kind of a porch area at the top of the stairs. When it was warm enough I filled it with all the plants I had. 

Lisa and I moved in together not long after that and I took them all to our new place and every window had some kind of hanging plant within its sunshiny space. There was one, I think it’s called coleus, that Lisa nicknamed monster because it had gotten so big. The non-hanging plants adorned tabletops all over the apartment.

Eventually we bought a house and monster and the rest came with us. With a yard, fresh canvas, I was now able to go crazy outside, which of course I did. There was a cherry blossom tree already in the back yard. I used stone from the yard and from the neighbors yard to make a heart shaped border below the tree, filled it with cedar chips and planted 100 bulbs for spring blooming and about 40 hosta for summer.

I was very dangerous with the gardening catalogs. 

The front and side of the house I lined with 6×6’s as a border and again filled it with cedar chips. More bulbs and hosta up front and down the side I lined with peonies and roses. Peonies that had been at the house already for over 30 years and two rose bushes from my parents house that were at least 25 years old. Broke my heart when we moved. 

Back to the back yard, I tilled (actually the neighbor did it, thanks Bob!) up a 25×25 foot veggie garden and I planted away. Every night when I got home from work I went out there to pull weeds before even going in the house. A lot of times the boys were waiting for me so they could help, “daddy is this a weed?”

After Lisa died I wasn’t allowed to take any of my plants to the new place we moved into and it was a rental so no outside jungles. I had to start from scratch, which I did, with the house plants and added bonsai trees. Those trees were just fascinating and honestly not too difficult to care for. 

Two years later we moved cross country to AZ and I took all the plants in the car and kept them alive the whole trip including the bonsais. It didn’t matter though because they were easy enough to water in Jersey but in AZ it was just too dry to keep up with even in the house because we had no air conditioning. I tried replacing them once or twice but it just didn’t work out. Maybe again in near the future. 

After Stacy died I had three kids needing attention and I just couldn’t keep up with the plants so I gave them all away except the cactuses. I just had too many things to take care of at that time. 

I think that’s why I started back up again. Two kids mostly out of the house and the third basically self sufficient except for transportation. I needed something to take care of and since plants don’t mouth off I was drawn back. 

It started slowly, with a Christmas cactus and after it bloomed I had the bee back in my bonnet. From then on any trip to Walmart resulted in several small plants that needed saving and anybody’s house I went to who had plants I was asking for cuttings. I mean, how can you pass up a $1.98 plant? Who cares if it’s small, it’s gonna grow!

I’ve built up a pretty good jungle now again and am starting cuttings of my own for other people. 

Am I done? 


Anybody need cuttings?

Until tomorrow…