I must preface this post by saying that when I was a kid, I used to love growing houseplants of all kinds. My bedroom at my parents’ house was populated with assorted Philodendron, Ficus, English Ivy, Spider Plants, Dieffenbachia, Peperomia, Asparagus Ferns, you name it. A lot of them were in those groovy macrame hangers – remember those? We wove a lot of those in our house in the 1970s.
You don’t grow up in a household where your dad grows cherries and apples for a living, has a beautiful greenhouse full of orchids, and your mom has a thriving veggie and flower garden, and not have some of that wash over your soul.
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One of my favorite books back then (which is still in my basement – if I can find it) was “Mother Earth’s Hassle-Free Indoor Plant Book” by Joel and Lynn Rapp. I LOVED poring over those pages and deciding what plant to get next, how best to nurture the ones I had, creating little pebble beds for the ferns, misting them with fine drops of water, playing classical music for them… I even contemplated a career in horticulture at one point.
Fast-forward to today, and you can see by the photo of the African Violets above that things have taken a serious turn to the dark side. Somewhere in the haze of getting married, building a house, raising kids and making a living, my love for houseplants got sidelined.
I’ve heard that once the kids get older and into college and adulthood (which mine are), it frees up your brain to focus on things you used to love way back when. I can already see visages of that. I’ve been out in my kayak more this summer than ever, I’m building this Old Mission website that you’re reading, along with some creative and photographic pursuits…
And you know what? I think there are some houseplants in my near future. Not to see how fast I can kill them off, but to nurture that love of plants I had when I was a kid. Maybe I’ll even dig out the old macrame books and weave a hanger for them.
So here’s my challenge for you: What did you used to love that’s gotten pushed aside in the busy-ness of life? Are you ready to rekindle that love? And how can you go about doing that?
I am generally terrible with houseplants, but mostly because we just don’t get enough light in our house to grow most kinds.
With one kid out of the house and the other in his senior year of high school, things have freed up for me a lot and I’ve been able to make time for things I like a lot in the past year or so.
That’s cool, Brette. It’s definitely one of the upsides of having kids grow up and move out (which I’ve been dreading pretty much since they were born).
My renewed interest happened about 18 months ago when my horticulture SIL (always gorgeous plants in her house) made babies for me with her African violets….baby plants that seemed to like the light in our house. Hope yet lives!
Sending all my love and good karma that those baby plants will make it! I have a good feeling about it.