23 FEBRUARY 2020
Let me let you in on a little secret. I have a small, but healthy, plant addiction. Whilst I have drowned a few cactis over the years and lost a fair few maiden hair ferns, plants are vital in my life and whilst I won’t say I have an exceptional green thumb, I will say that they bring out the best in me. They make me happy.
It all started at a time when I felt a little lost. I was working full time, had young children and whilst I loved drooling over the colourful spread of freshly cut, deliciously scented flowers at the South Melbourne Market and local florists, I soon became aware of the ridiculous amount of money I was spending on flowers that wouldn’t last more than a week in vases in my home. Plus, I felt so guilty when I put the wilted ends into the bin, thinking that that was it… poor flower had lived its life; bring back memories of the Little Fir Tree, story of the beautiful sprue tree, cut down to be beautifully decorated and celebrated at Christmas but then abandoned in an old cellar until it was dragged down to the garden to be chopped up and disposed of. Dramatic imagery I know but I did feel that it was a little bit of a waste.
Little did I know that it was then that I would begin my plant journey. At the time, Fiddle Leaf plants were rather popular in Melbourne homes. They had large, green leaves and looked spectacular in wicker baskets. Only problem was that they were super expensive but I did the math and found I could take home one stunning Fiddle Leaf plant for the price of three bunches of Japanese Lilies.
From that day, three years ago, I cannot stop. Friends giggle when I say that I talk to my plants. My children roll their eyes when at bath time the plants fill their shower for their fortnightly watering. My husband complains that when he vacuums there are ‘plant obstacles’ which prevent him from doing his ‘job’ properly.
But oh how it is worth it! The feeling I get when I see a small baby leaf coming out, an event at which I am heard to say ‘we have a baby’!
I thrive when they grow, I get excited when my propagation takes off and new plants emerge, I feel connected to individuals who feel the same tickle in their tummy and love to boast about the new plant or plant accessory that comes to adorn their house.
Perhaps I have earnt the name ‘crazy plant lady’, but as a someone who finds it hard to find time to get out of the house, rarely having time for herself, plants have given me an out.
Be warned, plants are contagious, you may, like me, never be able to stop!