indoor garden

houseplant love affair

There is no denying Ryan and I have a thing for houseplants. We have a potted friend in darn near every room. The only thing holding us back from filling the whole house is the limited sun exposure of our house. We really just need more shade loving plants. For as long as we have been together, Ryan has gifted me houseplants. I loved his thoughtfulness in trying to pick the perfect plant and container for me. I was never as spoiled as when he worked at a local nursery in Knoxville. Below is my apartment window filled with sweetness from Ryan and my roommate’s cat, Django, aka Kearney’s bff.


It wasn’t just my home Ryan was filling with nature’s goodness. Check out his pad. With a degree in plant science, a deck that looked like this, and an apartment equally overflowing, I knew what I was in store for.


This was actually our first time gardening together. We spent several nights painting containers, adding a splash of personality, and planting foodie seeds. Kearney was just as cute and helpful back then…


Every time we move, a nice portion of the truck and usually a car is dedicated to houseplants. Somehow, we have found ourselves moving in the dead of winter every time. The worst time (for the plants) was the big haul in January 2010 when Ryan moved me from Tennessee to be with him in Massachusetts. Ryan swears he will never drive a big ol’ uhaul pulling a car on a trailer for 18 hours ever again. (There is a good story here, I’ll have to tell you about another time.)


We lost a notable amount of houseplants that trip thanks to frigid temperatures, but we still managed to fill the living room and bedroom windows in that first apartment in Amherst. Hard to believe that was the fist place we ever lived together.


The houseplants definitely added much needed life to that scary 1760’s house we told you a little about here. Living there was an experience….complete with pellet stove “heating,” cold drafts being an understatement, and a landlord straight from a story book. Here is the house and a few of our green friends. Did we really do that?


Then there was the dreamy duplex we loved with the memorable skylights. We have brought this place up in a few posts and now we finally have a reason to show you. I don’t think the houseplants have ever been happier. With three skylights, several windows, and a glass door, it was light for days – heaven I tell you. Just in case you can’t spot them all. Below you’ll find plants on the ledge above the bed, in the window behind the bed, and a few on my nightstand. Spy the planters on the edge? Don’t think one never fell.

living-with-plantshouse-plants-of-all-kindsThe following is what it looks like to live with a Graduate student. This is from back in the day when we were just young (all of three years ago) dreamers. We were months away from getting engaged and moving closer to Boston where Ryan would land his first job.

grad-studentdream-duplex-grad-studentWhen it came time to move back south (again in the winter), we did all we could to keep our plants alive. Not everyone came out unscathed, but I think we are making a comeback. Here is what our current home looks like. The plant in the white container on the far right is actually a start from one of our roommates’ plants in the old house.


Hopefully our staghorn will make a turn for the better in its new digs. It is already looking happier.


And the very empty back bedroom has become a place where seedling, citrus and avocado trees take refuge on cold nights. The fact the room gets a fair amount of sun is a bonus. Fig starts are the latest to join this social gathering. Figs are something new for Ryan but so far, success. These were started from cuttings he took a couple of months ago. We will have more on that another time.


Having a professional in the house definitely comes in handy. Sometimes I am able to point out a plant I really like and Ryan is able to pick a leaf and take the start home to see if we can get it to root. I would go as far as to say that is where most of our current guys came from. Like this Jade succulent. After living in a shot glass full of water for weeks, he is finally potted and the wait is on to see if the surrounding starts root.


Caring for so many houseplants really doesn’t take much work and is very therapeutic. We just make sure they are getting the light and water they need and add a bit of compost tea and fertilizer when required. When we go out of town for several days, we water heavy, get everyone huddled in windows and sometimes say a prayer. We love the vibe different plants add to a room and the oxygen they add to the air. All plants better indoor air, some even clean it. Why not have a house full? This post is already far longer than I ever expected, so let me end with this. Don’t let one… or one hundred dead plants hold you back from trying a new variety in your living quarters.  You never know, it could be the next sentimental piece or family heirloom in your home.

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