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Friday Favorite: Houseplants

May 18th, 2018

I love houseplants and have lots of them in every room. Perhaps I got this love from my mom, our home was always filled with different kinds of houseplants in all shapes and sizes.  Houseplants are pretty easy care, though every now and again then can use a bit of love. This pothos sat on the stage at our wedding, 20 years ago. It’s been growing in the same container ever since. Earlier this week, I decided it needed a new pot and needed to be divided.

The majority of the foliage was removed, then it was turned out of the pot. This plant was potted up and growing in this container when I purchased it. In the bottom of the container, I found lots of styrofoam peanuts. Also, about midway down in the container, I found this plastic disk. Clearly, it was repotted from a hanging basket and whoever planted it didn’t know this should be removed. I’m pretty surprised that this plant has thrived for so long. It’s definitely a testament to the hardiness of this plant.


The root ball was cut in half and trimmed, then I repotted it into a new container with fresh potting soil. I don’t add time release fertilizer to my houseplants, I figure they’re just fine with a bit of liquid kelp in their water every now and again. I find that the chemical fertilizers seem to leave a salty/mineraly residue on containers and water reservoirs.

This plant should have a new lease on life. I’m hoping it survives for another 20 years at least.

Do you enjoy having houseplants around? Do you repot them on occasion? What’s your favorite way to fertilize houseplants?

Inspiration

May 16th, 2018

Typically, I spend all winter reading about gardening and looking through my collection of various gardening books. This past winter, I was busy with a lot of things and spent most of my time reading novels. As the weather warmed, I found myself missing my garden reading.

I’m a huge Monty Don fan, which means that I purchased his new book ‘Down to Earth‘ and have been reading through it. It’s fantastic, as are all his books (‘Gardening at Longmeadow‘ and ‘The Ivington Diaries‘ are my two favorite gardening books). On my stack this week, I also have ‘Earth on Her Hands‘, an older, out of print book that highlights the gardens of many different women. It’s one of my favorites it look through each winter, as the gardens aren’t show gardens, but real gardens made by real women. ‘Gardens of Spirit and Place‘ is another favorite, though the gardens featured in this book are more designed and much more elaborate.

The New Homesteader‘ which features the beauty of Walnuts Farm in England is a feast for the eyes, especially if you love traditional English potagers. There are many more books that I’ve looked through and put back on the shelf. I’ll share some of those in the comings weeks. I find books about gardens are one of my favorite ways to find inspiration for my garden.

Do you have a favorite gardening book that you refer to frequently for inspiration?

Green Thumb?

May 14th, 2018

I often hear people say that they don’t have green thumbs, that they always kill plants.  I’m not sure that my thumb is any greener than any one else’s thumb, I have probably just grown more plants.

Take these boxwood cuttings for example. They were being overwintered in the basemen and I completely forgot about them until they were way too dry. I lost about 75% of them. It’s not a huge deal since they were free, they were however 2 years in the making up to this point, so I did lose some work. That’s how gardening goes though, sometimes you lose plants because of something you did, sometimes plants just don’t like the location or they get diseased. Dead plants is just part of gardening.

Have you killed any plants recently?

Friday Favorite: Edible Houseplants

May 11th, 2018

This past week, I moved out the ‘Pizza my Heart’ pepper that I overwintered in the house, along with the basil, parsley, a few types of thyme, figs, bananas, and all the citrus trees.

The pepper plant is covered in peppers, germination indoors was great thanks to all those Asian ladybeetles. I harvested peppers in January, and I’ve been harvesting one or two every week throughout the winter. I’m interested to see how this pepper does during the summer, I’ve read that peppers do much better in their second year. So much so, that some gardeners dig up a lot of their peppers and overwinter them in their basements.

Then basil and parsley were harvested regularly throughout the winter, with a bit of liquid kelp, they just kept growing and producing fresh herbs for the table.

My citrus trees are also covered in fruit (though I forgot to go down and get photos of them). Adding a few edibles to the houseplant collection is such a great way to save a few dollars in the winter and add a bit of deliciousness to your plate. If you’d like to give edible houspelants a try, I’d recommend digging up a parsley plant this coming fall and overwintering it in the house. Fresh parsley is such a wonderful addition to so many meals, it can be quite spendy in grocery stores as well.

Do you have any edible houseplants? Do you grow herbs indoors during the winter?

If you’d like to try growing various edible plants in the house, consider reading Growing Tasty Tropical Plants In Any Home Anywhere as a primer. I read this book years ago and have been growing edibles in the house ever since. My favorites are figs & citrus.

Double Stack

April 30th, 2018

It’s great to wake up in the morning with sore muscles from spending the day gardening. While it’s beautiful and sunny during the day, it’s still getting chilly at night. The furnace is still working sometimes and the cats like to run over and lay on the vents when it comes on. Here we have Samson on a shelf above the vent and Littles laying on the vent right below him. Sometimes, there’s even a cat sitting up on top the bench for a triple layer of warming cat.

The cats never fail to entertain, that’s for sure. They keep me constantly chuckling and laughing.

What are you pets up to this week?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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