I've made a realisation recently - I feel 99% better whenever I can go outside and potter around the garden. It doesn't matter what is on my plate, any particular worries or stresses can be taken outside and worked out amongst the greenery. I can't explain why, it just works for me. My garden is my therapy.
But what happens when you can't go outside because of bad weather or you're feeling sick? It's taken me far too long to realise the remedy, and that is to bring the outside, indoors. Of course I don't want to spend a lot of money in the process, so I started looking around the house for containers I could use. Here's an old vase or Saki bottle (I'm not sure which) with an unusual plant saved from a garden clean-up at Sarah's school.
All I've done is fill the bottle with water and the plant's roots are growing inside. Not very difficult to maintain either. I've grown many plants successfully like this before. I will have to find the name of this plant as it's very beautiful and loves the light position next to the window.
I also have another plant I've given similar treatment too, only this one is green. It was also rescued from a garden clean-up effort and quite likes the light it has in this position. Summer brings wonderful light into the house.
It sits in another rustic bottle - oh dear, I have to admit to collecting quite a few (bottles that is) and you can even see more in the background. But I'm happy to have found a lovely use for them. All you need is a plant that will strike roots in water and doesn't mind low nutrients. It's embarrassing how simple it is. But I also had a few other plants I wanted to find new homes for. Again, I consulted my brick-a-brac tucked away in the cupboards and stumbled across a dainty ceramic container.
Do you think I could find a plastic pot small enough to sit in it though? I didn't want to plant straight into the ceramic dish, as it didn't have any drainage holes - solution, put one inside that does have them. I searched all my containers outside but everything was either too tall or too wide. I even resorted to searching my daughter's room, as she's known to use old yogurt containers for storage. Anything I did find however, didn't fit either. As you can see in the picture above, I found the solution inside my kitchen pantry - the plastic container our muffin cases come in. A few holes poked in the base, and it was ready to go!
I planted a fern in it, rescued from the renovations at my husband's work place. The roof and gutters were being replaced, and when the workmen lifted the old gutters down, there were ferns growing happily inside them. Dave rescued some and they're now living on my kitchen bench - along with another plant I collected from our garden: Hostas. I had to cut them back because they were leggy being in a shaded position outside. They should re shoot fairly quickly though. I didn't even have to buy the ceramic pot plant for the Hostas either - that came with a free cutting I received from my mum. The saucer was from a promotional cup and saucer I rarely use.
Gosh, I'm starting to sound like an old plant lady I remember visiting when I was growing up. She had plants in everything from metal cans to old tea pots with broken handles. All these indoor plants have actually brought back a lot of memories from my childhood. We used to live in flats growing up and when it was too wet or cold to go play outside, I remember playing with my mother's pot plants. She use to have palms with little ornaments adorning a few. I would use them to play under the palms, imagining I was outside playing in a jungle.
Would you believe I still have one of those wonderful ornaments? Of course, it's a frog, what else? My mum gave it to me one day and it's come on many adventures with me since. Even my own daughter has been known to play with old froggy. Boy that little ornament has been very adventurous - I think I'll resume frog back to pot plant duty, as was his original calling.
My favourite arrangement at the moment would have to be these native gingers and a little ground cover I don't know the name of. It's very prolific around Brisbane and other parts of South-East Queensland. I think Dave grabbed a handful from his sister's place (in Brisbane) and it loves the shady places in our garden - spreading well and covering the soil.
I did buy the native gingers, but they were actually destined for the garden. I hadn't managed to get them all planted however, and thought why not try them indoors instead? They're actually growing bigger inside than outside.
What I like about bringing all these new plants in doors, is they can help purify the air. I don't have many plants at this stage and many of them are still small, but I've enjoyed the process of recycling storage containers and propagating plants in a new way. It's not that hard, it's relatively cheap and there are plants that don't need much attention at all. I did buy a bag of potting mix to do much of this, but I also added some home grown compost to make it go further.
Do you like bringing plants indoors and have you used some unusual containers to plant them in?