Hello, 2021! For obvious reasons, most of us are thrilled that 2020 is OVER. It was a year of loss, despair and isolation. At best, many people’s lives just stood still in time, waiting. I have felt grateful every day that I still have an income, a roof over my head and that my immediate family remained safe. I’m grateful for the companionship of both my parents (as annoying as they may be!) and my dogs.
When covid hit NYC back in March and we began working from home, I immediately saw it as an opportunity to meet the ever so popular new year’s goal of losing weight. So I started a diet and exercise regimen that I’m happy to say is still going strong!
When I reached the 6-month mark of my fitness commitment, I decided to reward myself with a monthly subscription to BloomsyBox. Because what woman doesn’t love flowers and why should I wait to 1) have a man and 2) have a man smart enough to buy my flowers regularly?
Well, the bouquets have been awesome and I still love. But they only last a week and during that time they’re just slowly wilting and decaying making the reward of their beauty fleeting.
That’s when I thought, “Well, why can’t I have a flower that always blooms?”
How It Started
You need to understand that I already live with my mother who is a green thumb. We have a huge bay window in the kitchen that is overflowing with greenery plus both our front and back yards are home to a hodgepodge of vegetables and shrubs. That’s an impressive house plant collection considering that we live in NYC.
Up until this point, I could have cared less about all of mom’s plants. I thought they were boring, mainly because most of her plants are just green leaves all the time. Her vegetables are mostly tomatoes – which, you know, I don’t know what’s peed on it – or bitter gourd, a vegetable she grew up with in India that tastes horrible because it’s bitter. She’s the only person in the house who enjoys it.
Mom’s house plant jungle, quite frankly, was uninspiring to me.
But around last summer when I was in the mood for blooms, the mailman mistakenly delivered a plant catalogue meant for someone else in my neighborhood. Our house is already inundated with gardening catalogues so it’s easy to see the mistake. It was a catalogue for Logee’s Plants for Home & Garden. Honestly, my life has changed ever since.
With my desire for ever-blooming flowers plus the arrival of this catalogue, I quickly began searching the internet for plants that would bloom either all year or specifically during the winter. I was going to need something to brighten my days during a covid winter lockdown.
Enter the bougainvillea. This tropical plant produces flowers year-round and lives in warmer climates like the South and India. In fact, it’s called the paper plant where my mom is from. It’s so common and therefore unimpressive that I now had one in New York.
My plant arrived August 15th. I immediately placed it on a windowsill and began watering it regularly. Because that’s what you do with plants, right? Water and sun. Fortunately, because the bougainvillea is a tropical plant that loves lots of direct sun and heat, my plant thrived here. But as I’ll explain in a later post, my cookie-cutter approach to plant care is a rookie mistake that resulted in disaster.
What’s funny is that because I was staring at the plant every day, I didn’t even notice how much it was growing. I had to add a stick to train its direction of growth and refer to the original photo I took the day it arrived to realize, I was doing good!
Here’s how it transformed at 2 and 3 months after arriving:
By November I was itching for more. I made two more house plant purchases at Logee’s. Then when they started doing well, I diversified to succulents in December. I’ve got four more plants from Logee’s arriving next week. My wish list of more additions might be checked off before the month is over! Plus, we planted a whole slew of flowering bulbs and shrubs in our front yard. I’m just bouncing off the walls waiting to see what happens to them this Spring!
Yes, this has snowballed. And no, I don’t think it’s out of control. That is why I’m OBSESSED!
I’m a Plant Mom!
I got a new house plant hobby that kind of happened out of no where! Now I spend my days thinking about what colors I want to bring into which rooms, whether or not those rooms have the environmental conditions for those plants to be successful, do I have the space for them, how can I make more space for them, and of course, POTTERY! The upgrade to my home décor is an absolute added bonus.
My plants make me happy. They brighten my living space and I just love watching them transform over a matter of weeks.
Listen, I’ve had plants before. I’ve killed plants before. So I totally understand how many would be scared of the pressure to own one. But I feel like I have tips to share and if I can inspire any of you with my journey to engage in your own form of plant therapy, then that might be worthwhile.