Tuesday, March 29, 2011

houseplant therapy

It is still quite winterly here in Buffalo and I am doing my best to not let it depress me. We've had some lovely sunshine, but there's no denying - even in the sun - that its cold out. And windy. And it is not helping my training for the Toronto Half Marathon in May one bit. 

Please please please, Mother Nature - all I am asking for are temperatures in the 40s - that's less than the average high temperature for this time of year!

Stats for March 29:
Today (3/29/11)
High:  32 °F 
Low:  27 °F
Average high: 51 °F
Average low: 34 °F
Historical Range: 27 to 84 °F 
(eighty-freaking-four degrees!?!)

But enough whining. Being from Maine/Buffalo and whining about the weather just seems so futile and predictable. Not good blog material. 

Here are some pretty pictures instead.

On Saturday afternoon I took a trip to Menne Nursery and Garden Artistry in Amherst for the first time. I was on a mission for a few new houseplants, and Menne did not disappoint. I can only imagine what it will be like to return there once gardening season starts.

Browsing was a very serene, calming experience - soft music, tons of natural light and warmth. I  walked around at a leisurely pace, swooning over the orchids and bonsais, knowing they are out of my league, but enjoying them anyway.

I wanted to find something for my nightstand, preferably a flowering plant that wouldn't demand a ton of sun. I was about to give up when I spotted the begonia selection - one of which had the most amazing fairy-like flowers. I asked one of the employees about it and she said is was a Strawberry Begonia. I knew I had to take it home with me, even if it ultimately wouldn't work out for the bedroom.

(Bear with me ... I may have gone a little bit overboard with the photos here. But this is the type of discovery that makes me wish I'd gone into science. The same feeling I get from watching the Planet Earth and Blue Planet series - which incidentally are what make me relish our gargantuan HDTV [more on that below] - being completely in awe of the crazy gorgeous things that spring up out of the ground around us. Just amazing.)

 I mean, really

This thing exists, and its on my nightstand...

...in my bedroom.

 I mean, really!

 Its leggy stems are a little awkward....

...but I'm smitten every time I go into my bedroom.

I was also on the lookout for two plants to flank the television in the living room. We recently acquired a buffet as part of an antique dining set that was missing a couple of cabinet doors, and was too big for the dining room - but ended up working beautifully for a television console.

TV console before. 

Photo by Evan - the only "before" picture I have. He especially relishes our gargantuan TV while watching sporting events - here, a Sabres game. Side note: Red walls came with the house and hopefully we will be repainting them this year.

I'm really happy with how it looks - as nice as any piece of furniture sporting a gargantuan television on top can look. But it drove me a little nuts that you could still see the wiring from the side.

Since there is plenty of space on either side of the television I thought I could use houseplant positioning to remedy the situation.

When I came across the selection of potted gardenias at Menne, I knew that they would be the perfect fit. One already had a deliciously scented blossom opened up, and both had several unopened buds.

I remember when I was still in middle school, probably around 13 years old, we received a catalog in the mail with some of the most beautiful clothes I had ever seen. It had a scented perfume advertisement inside that was absolutely intoxicating.

The catalog was from the newly established Anthropologie, and the scent was Gardenia. I kept the catalog until the scent faded, even though I knew there was absolutely no way we would be ordering anything from it. So funny how scent-related memories stick with you in such a visceral way.

Here we are almost 20 years later, and I still lust over the smell of gardenias, and yearn for things at Anthropologie - though now its less  for their clothes, and more for their hardware selection.

Anyway ... back to the TV console.

TV console after.

 See, no wires!

Much better. 

On the way out at Menne, I couldn't resist a bunch of forsythia branches in bloom for sale. I had fun arranging them in a few different vessels when I got home.

A trimming from a larger branch makes a perfect match 
for a bud vase. 

An unruly branch worked well in my garden watering can, 
which sadly wont be used for its real purpose for another couple of months.

Forsythias will always remind me of Barrett's Park in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, the town where I was born, and the place that holds some of my fondest memories. There are two huge forsythia bushes flanking the entrance to Barrett's park.

Bringing these branches home made me think about putting forsythias on the list of flowering bushes I'd like to add to our yard.

Wishing you happy thoughts of spring....

1 comment:

  1. Love the pictures!! These glimpses of your home make me green with envy. It looks amazing. I must, must, must get better with houseplants. Seriously. I want a pretty plant on my nightstand...