Thursday, October 16, 2008

Our little piece of earth

Ok, more like our meager collection of pots of dirt... but we are trying!

I truly wish we had a garden. I'd be happy with an itty-bitty small one, really. Next best would be a good-sized balcony with decent mix of sun and shade. Heck, I wish we just had room to turn around on the balconies we do have! One of these days...

Anyway, here are a few of the new members of our household. Wish them luck - on our balconies, they need all the help they can get! ah well, I like to think we are doing just a little (a microscopic amount maybe) to help freshen the air. At least the kids are learning to incorporate greenery into their lives. Start young and get it ingrained as a lifetime habit.

Here are Honor's babies. Don't mind the ugly pots. Nobody can see them from outside, so I don't bother with fancy pottery! I turned old pots over to use as mini-tables to raise the plants to a height where they'll have a bit of sun, but still some protective shade from the wall. Honor chose two pots of brightly colored moss roses, and some pretty yellow-flowering plant. She has her old, spindly, geranium that has somehow managed to survive the summer, and in the black pot in front, she has the tiny sproutling that she 'hatched' from seed.

Not sure what the name of that purple blossom plant is, but Brian chose it and a nice miniature rose bush. I lifted his plants up with extra pots too.
Here are my newest plants. A collection of pretty succulents, and (in the background) a potted mint plant. I've grown several of these outside before, but never in a container. We'll hope for the best!

I wish I'd had more experience growing up with house plants. We had gardens all over, but plants tended to be outside, or almost outside (screened in porch). With as poor of air quality that we have in this city, I believe that every bit of air cleaning we can do is a good thing. I won't pretend to believe every hoo-ah statistic or chart. I am sure that what happens in a laboratory is not the same as what happens in a real house... but it sure doesn't hurt to try. House plants are supposed to help clean the air, and I've even read that they help maintain temps - but I think that is with a room load of them. Even NASA advises using plants for cleaner air.

I've managed to keep a few houseplants alive for several years now. I want to try to add to my collection, but I am still learning to care for them and haven't wanted to punish too many innocent plants as I figure things out! Fortunately, many of the recommended 'air scrubber' plants, are very hardy and easily tolerate the abuses of ignorant plant owners. I mean, just try and kill a philodendron! I had put a pot out on my balcony once, to wash down the dusty leaves, and left it. The wind blew it down and I didn't notice it until the next day - soil spilt, vines bent and broken, and roots exposed for ?how? long... I put it back in the pot. It was fine. I picked up some of the broken bits and stuck them in water. They are still alive. Ficus plants are pretty tough too. My next indoor plant 'want' is a pretty bit of bamboo... hardy, and it also makes many of the 'air scrubber' lists.

Our ficus, recent recipient of a major haircut. This is a hand-me-down plant and is doing quite well. The kids like to decorate this as a 2nd Christmas tree!

And this wall art is some type of philodendron. I wasn't sure what to do with all the vines. I didn't want to cut them, as it is the leaves that clean the air, but I'd prefer to decorate with a little more finesse than two nails up on high with vines strung willy-nilly. However, if you've ever live in a place where the walls are made of rebar, concrete, brick, and cement-like plaster... then you know how lucky I was just to get those 2 nails IN the flipping wall at all! (I nearly broke my masonry bit, and we are a long way from the nearest Home Depot). Simple as it is, the green wall effect is refreshing. Wish I could fill that whole area of the room with plants!
And here is another philodendron-sort. This is the jumper who survived.
So far, so good! May not seem like much - I am so jealous of people with gorgeous plants, happily and easily thriving, all over their homes - but I'm learning. Doing my part to make the world, at least our little bit of it, a greener place.


MsTypo said...

Wow those look great. I'm tres jealous! I have huge balconies if you want to grow things. :D :D

Simple Answer said...

I'm obsessive about the plants as "air cleaning" tools! I just got a nice tree for my living room I am truly enjoying!

Unknown said...

Live plants--I'm impressed. 14 years of moving every 1.5-3 years meant I gave up on them long ago.

junglemama said...

You have nice green thumb. Ilove the plant on the wall. How beautiful.

srsr said...

And I absolutely love your dancing guy on the wall.

Tina in CT said...

I am wondering what those tiny balconies are for as they sure aren't large enough for a chair to sit out there.

Your plants look great and I love the purple flowering one.

Connie said...

The tiny balconies are pretty sad. Probably the only 'real purpose' they have is to set the window in a few feet, natural light with the merest pretense of shade (all windows face full PM sun.. ack!). At least it gives a place for plants.

Thanks anyway Typ0, but if I have to drive downtown and find a place to park(!) in order to garden on your balcony, we kinda lose the whole relaxation aspect of the hobby, sorry :-D

I want to get more air scrubbers in the house. Fortunately, plants here are inexpensive, and it's easy to pass them along when we leave. My problem is where to keep them (active kids and cats) and keeping them alive! (still learning).

srsr, if you would like a dancing guy hanging of your own, or other piece of applique, we'll be in the land of Khan al-Khalili bazaar until next summer! The tent makers have the dervishes, other designs (like the pear we sent you), and colorful geometric designs. Let me know - they have wall hangings, pillow sized pieces, some very large (like a throw). Think about colors too. I am not a big shopper, but I make exceptions for the special people in our lives! Besides, Brian has been to the bazaar, your grand-daughter should have a turn too. :-)

Connie said...

Khan al-Khalili photos (older ones) with photos from the tent makers' area.

Diane Mandy said...

Wow! Your plants do so well. I'm jealous!