Thursday, June 12, 2014

Plants in the Home

I don't really have a green thumb. Well, maybe to some percentage I do, but I think it's pretty natural to compare oneself to their mother, and my mother had a passion for plants and gardens. She even had a degree in botany. My dabbling in the plant world always seem quite amateur in comparison. But, looking at the labels on my blog, I realize that I do post a fair amount about my garden, roses, lavender, and wildflowers. There's something about natural things that grow in the house or yard that make a home cozy and inviting for me. Recently I planted my herb garden. It's growing in a sunny spot in several antique washtubs. Generally one of each type of herb I want and use is enough. But parsley is the exception. The price of a 4" potted parsley plant at the nursery was somewhere between $3.00 and $4.00. And I want a lot of parsley! It dries so well and then can be used all winter long. Instead, I found a packet of parsley seeds for $1.49 and a package of starter discs for $2.50. I decided it was worth a try. It's really been fun checking on my little "parsley garden" every day. They sit in a casserole dish that's on the front porch where the morning sunshine hits it each day. Before I knew it, they started sending shoots out the top and my garden is growing! I'll be transplanting them to a larger container in my herb garden soon.

Sometimes it is fun to propagate plants in other ways as well. Last summer a dear friend who lives 2,300 miles away sent me a fat, puffy letter that was filled with paper towel wrapped leaves. They were African Violet leaves from her mother's favorite, purple African Violet. Both our mothers are gone now, but we have been friends since childhood, and our mother's are a part of our friendship and connection to one another. She sent a note that said to place the leaves in potting soil and water them. They would grow. There were no roots and she didn't even send them in water. Just dry leaves. I placed them in a flower pot and have tended them all these months. Some of the leaves didn't make it, but others thrived under tender loving care and are soon ready to transplant into individual pots. I am eager to see the blossoms when they mature. I will always think of Nancy and her mother, Ruby, when I look at this violet.

And this begonia plant is also being propagated without seeds. A quilt guild member brought cuttings to guilt meeting and said she'd trimmed her begonia and anyone who wanted a start was free to take several home. I put them in a vase of water as soon as I got home and before long they rooted and started sending out new shoots. Recently I planted them in a flower pot and now I'm waiting for them to take off and grow prolifically {I hope}. Some of the leaves near the bottom are not very pretty, as they are torn and tattered right now, but at the roots they have new baby leaves that will soon reach maturity. The old, tattered leaves will then be trimmed away. 

Such simple things can bring such pleasure. Tending plants could be called puttering, I suppose. But helping them thrive and grow is something I choose to do. It seems to keep one grounded and connected with life and nature in so many ways.

Do you tend plants? What are your favorites?


  1. If I could only have one herb, it would be rosemary, which I am growing. I had hoped to get to the nursery, but it has not happened and with the weather as it is this year, it may not be worth it anyway.

    I think it is amazing that you were able to grow a violet leaf. How marvelous! What fun!

  2. Wonderful! I live with a green thumber, and I'm the happy beneficiary! Nothing like green growth to make a space feel both alive and peaceful at the same time.

  3. Dear La Tea Dah...What? Not a green thumb? I beg to differ with you. I think you have a wonderful green thumb. Your plants always look fabulous. So glad you enjoy this tremendous gift----the gift of nature and the plants in it! Susan


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