Even with lights on a 16 hrs on/8 hrs off timer, a heat mat, and frequent grooming and inspection, growth is painfully sluggish.
Well before the Slow Food movement, the slow houseplant crusade had already written its very own, very literal, manifesto.
|Hippeastrum 'Razzle Dazzle' inspiring me in my writing room.|
The good news is that the blooming plants' flowers last a very long time. The bad news is that they seem to take forever to flower. I'm watching a slow-moving romance instead of an action flick, which I much prefer. So I've been making up for the lack of activity with the addition of new plants. When that fails, I play with my plants--which for the most part means I prune them, clean their leaves, and take their photos.
| This bulb's flower has been in a holding pattern for six weeks.|
It's so embarrassed, I've had to disguise its identity.
There is no doubt that the lights are encouraging my plants to remain green, perky and alive. I've set the table up against the south windows of the room, so their growth is also subject to day length.
|Episcia 'Alice's Aussie' in her plant sauna.|
Even more so than garden plants, houseplants are in-your-face humbling. You've let them into the house, for one thing. And there is no getting away from them. With the elaborate setup I've devised, I'd damn well better be successful. And I have been, for the most part.
|For now, a foliage plant, I have high hopes for |
Pelargonium 'Peppermint Star'
Unfortunately, this whole "houseplants as decor" thing requires clearing off a table or some other spot in the house where plants are viewed to their best advantage.
|Oxalis 'Plum Crazy' looks best without the |
flowers, which occasionally appear to let
me know I'm doing something right.
And here is the ugly truth--my house is a mess. Although far from being called a hoarder, I'm definitely cavalier about where and how I leave things. There are boxes on the floor with catalogs and magazines and books on top of them. A laundry basket holds clothes I washed last September and won't need again until May. They're held in place with books and then a layer of clothes I plan to take to the resale shop.
Our house is too big for us, apparently, as I only spend time in three out of the seven rooms (not counting bathrooms) that make up our 60s-era ranch. And those three rooms are heavily lived-in. I could put plants in the other four rooms, but since I don't spend time in them, there is little point.
|This in-situ vignette contains Oxalis 'Plum Crazy', Paphiopedilum 'Napa Valley' |
and Begonia 'Black Fancy'.