Archive for February, 2010

The Secret Life of Plants

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

So I just moved into a new place this December, eek! I’ve had so much fun making it my own, even if only renting. What fills me with delight are the leaded glass windows from which I take in copious amounts of precious NW light!  More light also means more plants indoors…

Now I have an admission, indoor plants only started to intrigue me as redesigning plantings outdoors became less appealing with each new move… To enjoy plants I started putting them in pots and moving them around on a porch, but then I started movin’em indoors. Inside, outside, no diff., right? Actually not so much…. Inside is a veerrry different place climate wise.

Sooo this brings me to the most recent move, and its bathroom. Say what? Yes the 1950′s mauve bathroom with matching bathtub and sink. What do you do with that when you’re renting? I thought maybe a mural. But like a whoosh of forced air from the vent I realized that the humid bathroom would be the perfect place for my jungle plants to recuperate… while creating a camouflage over all the mauve.

This is the first time I’ve had a bathroom with full bright southern light! A friend early on pointed out the planter hook hanging above the shower… encouragement now to go vertical in a small room. I decided to take inspiration from the plant conservatory I love and build my own hanging containers for my stage horn ferns. I used a block of leftover walnut from a table my sweetheart and I had made and used it as the back for the hanging wall piece. I bought white poplar dowels for the hanging container that I fashioned like a log cabin, held together with wire and twine. I shuttled between my brothers and my uncles with all the materials to use their tools for drilling, sawing, and sanding. I was in new territory building the containers, but if I could have whistled like an old crooner while I worked I would have, I was so delirious with the pleasure of building…

To keep the inspiration flowing I dreamed up an image for the space… The jungle coming down to kiss the ocean, the bathroom would be that point of warm misty contact. I thought maybe I’d find some large shells to reflect the watery world of the bath as well as the texture and color of the tile… All these ideas though! I keep making new things, going to flea markets looking for huge shells… its taking forever!

I’ve finished the containers for the ferns. But I’m only part way there. I want my jungle kisses and ocean dreams to come true soon! Sigh… But last week I found this perfect match to one of my favorite green orchids at the conservatory and I felt all giddy again about the process. Maybe ya understand? Tonight I spent some more time repotting some plants, nestling a bird’s nest fern under the sink, and spending some time communing with the space. I love the fragrance the plants impart to my daily bath (after which I always shut the door to let them sit in a blissful mist.) So I grabbed my copy of The Secret Life of Plants, filled the tub, and drifted into a world of watery association and life affirming reflections.