It’s time for another plant journal update, and this month I wanted to capture some photos of my little cuttings as I know that they will grow lots and look very different in just a few short months.
Hoya is probably my favourite genus of houseplant, and I have fallen deep down the rabbit hole with them. I have bought tiny cuttings from eBay and Etsy sellers because they are affordable that way at just a few pounds each – I refuse to pay silly money for a plant, no matter how beautiful it is. I have the time and the patience to put in to growing these plants from cuttings, and I really enjoy watching them root then push out new leaves. I don’t think I’d get the same sense of satisfaction if I took care of a more mature (and more expensive) plant!
My Hoya collection fits on one small table and the windowsill and when they grow a bit bigger I will trellis them to keep their footprint small, so although there are quite a few of them, they take up less space than a single palm or aroid! Hoya cuttings are always in demand so if they end up too big for my space, I can always prune them and sell cuttings for an affordable price to give back to the community I bought my cuttings from. I don’t plan to make a profit from them, but just to put cuttings back into circulation so that other people can enjoy collecting them as much as I do.
This little succulent has been threatening death all winter long. It kept dropping leaves – they’d pucker and turn yellow then fall off – whether I left it completely dry or gave it a tiny bit of water. Towards the end of January it started etiolating (stretching out in search of light) and whilst I could empathise, I was also ready to give up on it altogether. Fast forward to the start of April, and I put it out on the balcony under my cold frame, thinking that the cold might kill it, but the extra light might save it. It hasn’t dropped any leaves recently and it has turned a lovely pink with the cold stress of being outside.
It’s been about three months since my last house plant journal update, so I thought I’d share some recent photos. I briefly started a separate Instagram account for all things house plant related, but to be honest I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed by Instagram and I’m not sure keeping two accounts is something I want to do at the moment as I end up spending too much time in app which leaves me feeling distracted and irritable. It’s such a busy, noisy app, and really commercial what with the new shopping tab taking prime position in the user interface.
The Instagram plant community is really friendly and positive, but as with all hobbies these days there are also lots of influencers who make their money through product placement and advertising, and I am trying to limit my exposure to these things as I personally feel happiest that way. Despite my best intentions and awareness of behavioural psychology and the power of advertising, I’m human. It’s all too easy to see a beautiful plant I’ve never heard of and then think I need it when the reality is I don’t, and nor do I have the space or conditions to look after it properly. So, for the time being I will just share house plant things here on my blog. My collection is small, made up of common plants, and I have set a limit on how many plants I can keep at any one time to keep things from getting out of hand. The plants I have make me happy, and that is enough.
I’m getting my piano tuned tomorrow, but when I look back on this year in the future the soundtrack will be a mixture of Spanish Love Songs’ album ‘Brave Faces Everyone’ and Chopin nocturnes and preludes played on a piano which is overdue a tuning because of physical distancing and lockdown restrictions.
I wanted to capture the sound of 2020 in this very much imperfect recording because sound and memory go hand in hand for me. It took me five attempts before I managed to play without any wonky notes as I always get nervous when I’m playing to an audience, even if that audience is just my camera and cat.