Over the past 6 months I have fallen head over heels with plants. Not gardening, not bonsai trees, not even flowers but simple, lovely house plants. Oh and plant pots.
Ever since a friend brought me a little tray of succulents as a house warming gift, I have enjoyed their calming quality. Unlike flowers that stick around for three to five days tops, house plants are in it for the long haul. With only a little bit of care they can share your living space for months or even years. They grow with you and your space – filling the room with their leaves and moving with the seasons. My plants are always bending, arching and twisting their shape depending on how the light is on that particular day. They are truly living, breathing things. And they purify the air – bonus.
My rules are the greener the better. I like the leaves to be thick and rubbery too – as if they would ooze a sappy fluid if I snapped them in half. I once had a succulent that looked a bit anaemic – it was pale, slightly yellow and drooped in a sluggish way. I feel a bit bad about this (please don’t judge me) but it ended up going in the bin. It just wasn’t the right one for me but I’m sure it lives on in a landfill somewhere - food waste and coffee grounds make great fertiliser.
The problem with loving my house plants is that I have been known to become anxious and worried when they get poorly. My ficus elastica is currently losing leaves at a scarily fast rate and I can’t work out why. I’ve tried watering it more often, letting it go thirsty, moving it into a bright spot in the flat and even just ignoring it. But the leaves are going brown and dropping – it’s clearly not happy. I hope I can save it because it’s a beauty with large, luscious green and yellow leaves. I enjoy looking at it every single day and don’t want it to meet the same fate as my poor succulent.
The thing with plants is that they have their own little personalities - some are spikey and elusive, some are big and needy and some seem almost alien-like. Their green colour (which is associated with growth, harmony, freshness and safety) is so uplifting to me – especially when the sunshine pours onto them through the window.
It’s got to the stage now where my boyfriend has been instructed not to let me buy anymore plants as they are starting to take over the flat. But he’ll always give in if I want another one as he knows that this isn’t just another obsession – this is true love.
I’m thinking of quietly introducing something small, green and living into my desk area to see if it starts a trend...