25 February 2014

Rediscovering (& reimagining) the joy of houseplants

Back when I was a student at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, my room in residence resembled a miniature jungle. At one point, I had over 100 plants in that room, ranging from tiny lithops (living stones) to sprawling English ivy and philodendrons, to colourful African violets. 
Although I don't have quite so many indoor plants these days, I still have quite a few. There has never been a time since I was in my mid-teens that I haven't had houseplants, and I can't imagine ever NOT having them. They are like cats in that respect--they are part of who I am. 

Often when people come to visit, they admire my plants and tell me how they can't grow indoor plants because they have a black thumb. I don't accept that label, though. As with gardening outdoors, anyone can have great indoor plants. You just need to match your home conditions to the correct plants. 

Happily, two new books have been published to help would-be indoor plant gardeners overcome their fear of failure. 

03 February 2014

Snow-themed plants for the beginning of FARCH...

 Depending on where you live in North America, yesterday's Groundhog Day prognosticator either saw his shadow or didn't (yeah, I know what I just wrote). I like what one person said, we can either focus on six more weeks of winter, or only six more weeks til spring. No matter how the groundhog called it, we have just entered that everlasting period of winter that I call FARCH, which begins on February 1 and winds up on 31 March, hopefully with some signs of spring unfurling.

To give us all a lift in winter (or to cool off our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, in midsummer as they are), some plants with "Snow" in their names, beginning above with 'Amethysts in Snow' centaurea.

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