In the 1970s plants were everywhere inside. Our apartment and later our first house were filled with as many indoor plants as we could afford. That usually meant buying small plants at local nurseries and growing them into larger interior plants slowly; patiently and admittedly sometimes more successfully than others.
Typically our home hosted a spider plant or two, some asparagus ferns, a Boston fern, a snake plant, a corn plant, a weeping fig tree or ficus (which in those days was the only Latin name I knew), a rubber tree (also a ficus I learned later) and lots of philodendron.
So you can imagine how delighted I was to find an article in the January 2017 Better Homes & Gardens that talks about the return of the houseplant.
In the 1970s this indoor greenery kept my gardening urge under control during the winter. But as times and fashions changed my gardening focus moved outdoors. At our second home we had flower gardens front yard and back along with raised beds for vegetables and rhubarb. We used hop plants to screen our deck area from the neighbors (cheaper than a fence) and we grew shrubs to keep our extra half lot visually appealing and give us some privacy.
Along the way I kept a few houseplants – I’d occasionally buy one off the “Plant Ladies” at work who would sell the rented plants they were replacing in our corporate offices for a few dollars– but my focus was outdoors rather than in.
Since completing the initial Michigan Master Gardener coursework and earning my certification, my interest in houseplants has reasserted itself. Now I find myself taking care of a couple plants for a friend including a bonsai version of a Weeping Fig (ficus) and three Peace Lilies (Spath – one of the species in the genus Spathiphyllum) nursing back to health another adopted plant, caring for a dracaena (Dragon Tree), a jade plant (Crassula ovata), several aloe plants and a few herbs as well as trying to keep some of last summer’s geraniums alive and growing. I’m also trying my hand at orchids and one of my goals is to grow more succulents other than my jade plant.
A couple things have changed though. First of all, I’m a better gardener outdoors and inside, I have the knowledge I learned in the master gardener program (which I recommend highly no matter what state or country you live in) and as well as my collection of gardening books, I have the resources of the Internet and the knowledge of what sites to visit and which to ignore.
I’m so glad to see houseplants making a comeback. Plants immediately soften the angularity of our rooms and make our indoor air better. What more reason do you need to bring a little greenery inside?
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