Good grooming

I know there are people in the world who think that houseplants/indoor gardens are messy pains in the nether regions, but I kind of love that about them. They provide just what I need to occupy, exercise, and dirty my otherwise too-clean, itchy-to-garden fingers during the winter. As a matter of fact, grooming plants is such a pleasure that I feel almost guilty doing it, and put it off because I think I should attend to other, more odious, tasks first. Like paperwork. Or dusting cobwebs down cellar. But it must be done regularly – daily to weekly – to keep the plants healthy and our spaces, whether living room or greenhouse, tidy, livable, and pleasant. To me it’s as gratifying as weeding (and there’s some of that to do too) because the before-and-after difference is so apparent.

At home I groom when I water everything, about once a week. Here we water more often because the plants are getting so much more sun, and we groom as we go, on the fly usually. But sometimes – the best times – we get a troop of volunteers in on a sunny day, or putter bench by bench ourselves for an hour or two at a time. We pick yellow and dropped leaves, check for infestations and mold, and keep our eyes peeled for plants in need of a nip and tuck (taking cuttings as we go), or any that might be desperate for repotting. It’s like getting reacquainted every time because so much can change from one day or week to the next. Where did those aphids come from? Didn’t we just wash the scale and mold off those lemons? (Last spring…) And there’s nothing better than the sweet signs of new growth. The ferns in particular captivate the heck out of me…

Hover over the pictures for captions (my assessments) or click on them for a bigger view. Though you might not need such a close look at aphids and scale…

Does grooming houseplants fulfill your gardening impulse over the winter too?

One thought on “Good grooming

  1. Well, grooming helps but not quite enough. I think you are getting a bit more exercise at it than I given the greenhouses over there at B’wold.

    Layanee, I’m sure that’s true… -kris

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