Thursday, 5 January 2012

Indoor Gardening

We were getting ready for a dinner party a while back and in tidying the house the gardening bug bit me.  I repotted some plants that were looking unhappy and made a home for the many 'babies' one of the spider plants had produced. 

Earlier in the week I'd snipped some ivy from the front garden and planted a bunch in a rectangular pot outside, but I also brought some bits in and stuck them in a plastic container with some water until I had a place for them.  I got this idea after reading a book by the Royal Horticultural Society about propagating plants. 

I really do have a black thumb and so not all have survived in their new homes.  One thing that I did wrong was to not put enough soil in the pots to bring the plants all the way above the rim of the pot.   This meant that the tiny plants were unable to get sufficient sunlight.  Obvious, really.  Another thing I learned was not to put pots on shelves taller than I can see the plants, as I have no visual reminder that they need watering.   A few of the sprigs of ivy didn't thrive, I'm guessing  I didn't bury the ends deeply enough.

In spite of all this, several are doing very well.  I'm particularly pleased with my fireplace planting.  The two large bedrooms upstairs still have the original coal fire places, only the chimneys have been blocked and the hearthstones removed.   The black part is cast iron and once heated, it will have kept the rooms quite cozy I think.  However, we rely on radiators these days.  In the past I've tried sea shells in the grate and for a long time a wreath lived in one, but I've never been altogether happy with either look.   I much prefer this planter arrangement.  

I lined the space with a heavy duty trash bag, cut to size.  Then I put a few inches of rocks in the bottom for drainage space.  Then I filled the bag with potting soil and put in the spider plants and some ivy.  Everything there seems pretty happy so far.  If all goes well over the winter, I may try adding a taller plant or two, but I'll need to do some research first.

On my wish list for indoor plants is some more orchids.  Having seen them all over at the Victor Horta museum and having managed to keep mine alive for five years now (!!!), I'm convinced they are a good choice!


Suburban Princess said...

I used to have a nice selection of plants...back when I was simply a housewife and had nothing to do all day but water and talk to them!

Now...I might have one left...the rest died and I really had nowhere to put them. I cringe every time someone brings a potted plant at a hostess gift or some such thing. I prefer the veggie garden which is much more self sufficient!

Rick Stone said...

I've never been a plant person but Jo did like houseplants. She had several lined up in the dining room. I tried to remember to water them. Tried to give them away but no one else wanted them except for one. She had a huge Aloe Vera plant she had grown from a little bitty thing. My next door neighbor, who had grown close to Jo, was thrilled to take it. The rest are still in the dining room. I watered them before I left this morning. I'll probably be gone a month or two so I will be surprised if any survive.

Anonymous said...

I love the look of the plants in the fireplace and the details about type of fireplace it once was. Learned something new today.

Anonymous said...

Inventive of you to use the old fireplace as a planter. It looks fantastic.