Wednesday, July 25, 2007

When did I become a plant person anyways?

My mother has never been very good with house plants. Somewhere along the way I decided I wasn't either. But then, maybe 5 or 6 years ago, a couple of people gave me plants as gifts. So I did my best to nurture them along out of respect for the people who gave them to me.

Then I moved into my first apartment. Suddenly, plants were very grown-up and homey things to have. Both of my roommates had a couple of plants themselves, and gave me a few pointers here and there on my plants. I started experimenting a bit with lighting, watering techniques, and plant food. Where before I had managed only to maintain, now they were starting to really grow.

One roommate got married at the end of that 1st year, and so the remaining 2 of us downsized a bit. Our favorite part of our new apartment, the thing that had really clinched the deal for us, was a sun room. Windows on three sides (facing N,E,and S), and matching arch shaped cut-outs facing into the living room. We put a bookshelf just under the bottom of the window sill along the longest wall, covered the top with plants and filled in the bottom with our most interesting books. A couple more plants adorned the cut-out arches. We loved that room.

We lived there 2 years, and in that time I think I managed to double my plant collection. How could any houseplant not thrive in such a beautiful space??! I would wander through the plant sections of Home Depot and Chase Pitkin every so often, choosing plants that had interesting colors or stripes. I rescued an unwanted plant or two from work. I took cuttings of the plants I had every so often when I pruned them and started new ones. When Grandma died, I took home one of the plants from the funeral, and took a cutting from her aloe plant (she'd been meaning to give me one...).

When I moved here a year ago, I gave away 4-6 plants I had started from cuttings. I brought 11 plants with me to my new small apartment. Instead of buying curtains, I took the advice of a good friend and trained a couple of vines to grow around the windows. In some ways they were a bit overwhelming in such a tight space, but the decided opinion was that they made it feel warm and cozy.

I'm sure you see where this is going. How could I possibly take them with me? I can't. I'll have to start over when I get there. (I have happily noted that my future mother-in-law has quite the garden herself.) So, I started looking for homes for my plants. Didn't seem to be much point in moving them to my parents' house since there aren't good places to put them and they won't want them when I leave. A couple of my closest friends each took a couple. My boss wants one to remember me by. The finance office at work happily took both African violets. Another co-worker took my best vine (one of my first and original plants). I think my aunt would like the one from Grandma's funeral...

I'm happy to have found so many good homes, but I cried a little today after dropping a bunch of them off. It is hard to leave...

No comments: