Sunday 18 April 2010

House Plants

I never thought of myself as having green fingers, but after working in an office festooned with pot plants and ferns, I came around the the idea of trying to grow something myself. Basil, rosemary, a grape hyacinth and African violets all lasted a while, but not really knowing what I was doing came to be a bit of a problem. I love the colours and smells of house plants, so I've finally invested in a couple of books about caring for them.

I took myself off to Homebase on Saturday, where I ended up buying a miniature rose (see left). Due to bad associations, I don't like being given roses, but I still think they're one of the prettiest roses in the garden (or, in my case, living room). I chose the peach variety because it looked to be the healthiest in the garden centre, and it's such a cheerful little plant. The Victorians were very keen on the 'language of flowers', encoding messages in the flowers they sent. According to this language, the peach rose represents immortality and modesty.

I also went for a gardenia. The smell is amazing, which means it's a pleasure to walk in my front door. The gardenia means 'refinement' and 'purity', but I think they're just beautiful looking plants. Apparently they like a lot of natural light, but not direct sunlight, so my gardenia now sits on my writing table. I'm hoping it provides some form of inspiration or creative stimulus when I sit down to scribble.

My third choice of the day turned out to be an Easter cactus. My mum has had the Christmas variety for years, and as my windowsills get a lot of daylight, so I figured I'd give the Easter variety a go. As the name implies, they flower between January and April. They need both a rest period, and time outdoors in the shade, to ensure they flower again, and they have such pretty flowers that I'm hoping I can entice mine to do exactly that. Cacti of all kinds represent endurance, which is quite apt considering I'm hoping to apply that to my writing career, so here's to hoping my cactus makes itself at home and goes from strength to strength.

My final plant is slightly older, by a fortnight or so. I bought a gerbera, of the daisy family, in Tesco (of all places) and since repotting it, it has gone from strength to strength! It's a beautiful, cheerful little flower, and represents innocence. The petals have also changed colour - they were dark orange when I first bought it, and now they've turned a deep pink colour.

I'm hoping that I manage to keep them all alive, because they really do improve the atmosphere of my flat. That's my home, and also where I do most of my writing, and anything that improves the environment has got to be a good thing.

What, if anything, have you done to boost your creative space?


Anonymous said...

I've taken to bonsai (miniature trees). I have a Japanese maple and a mulberry tree. I also stand to inherit many from my folks when they die. In Australia, my plants are all outside. My other faves are my orchids (cymbidiums and dendrobiums) which should be flowering in a few months. I'll post pics. I also have a gardenia which smells fabulous. I have somewhat of an inherited green thumb from my family, but need to cultivate it some more.

Icy Sedgwick said...

I almost bought a bonsai tree but I wasn't sure what to do with it. I do like orchids but they don't like me. :-(

Definitely post photos though. :-)

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