Houseplants: A Love Story
- Published: 03/13/2015
It’s been eighteen months since I moved myself, my husband, and our two dogs from Virginia to West Virginia. My seventeen houseplants made the move with us, of course, and as treasured possessions rode in the car beside me. All these months later (and after considerable coaxing and rearranging) I have finally found the ideal spot for each of them, satisfying them all with the perfect combination of light and shadow. Even the temperamental Christmas cactus is happy, and bloomed last October and again this month.
All this inspired me to think about how change can be so difficult for many of us, and how long it sometimes takes to land on our feet. Like my plants, we human beings must learn to be patient with ourselves, and our new surroundings or circumstances. If we give it time, we will eventually find our place and flourish, whether it’s in a cozy small town, a bustling city, or a quiet cabin in the woods.
I have had some of my plants for years and am constantly amazed by their resilience. If only we all could bounce back with such grace!
Several of my plants are repositories for the memories of my life—some good, some sad. The fig tree I inherited from my mother, is thirty years old now, which means I’m only fifteen years older than it! My African violet was grown years ago from a cutting taken from one of my Grandmother’s plants. For as long as I can remember, she grew violets on her kitchen windowsill in her home in Scottdale, Pennsylvania. (Scottdale is the town that inspired Finch’s Crossing in my new sweet romance series.) The delicate purple flowers look as if they have been brushed with a fine, faint layer of glitter.
And my bamboo plant—two single stalks winding around each other as they grow—is the combination of a plant my mother kept in her living room in North Carolina and one my brother grew in his San Francisco apartment before his death. How lucky I am that I may watch them flourish, together, in my own home.