Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What's Growing around My House, Pt. 2

When I moved into my house a couple of months ago, I started a compost pile. Since then I keep waiting for something I discard to sprout, 'cuz when the compost sprouts, I get free plants.

It's easier--and cheaper--to try to grow new things this way, rather than go to the store and pick some plants out. At the old house, I got all kinds of seedlings, some more successful than others. But I've been sorely disappointed at the new house, as my compost has remained singularly barren.

So I watered the compost, and I added more leaves, and I stirred it up, and I waited patiently. Finally, the other day I went to dump my food scraps and voila! Some seedlings had emerged. But I didn't recognize what they were. My compost had never sprouted such plants before!

I carefully dug out one of the plants and looked at its origins. A kernel of corn! Exciting. One of these days I may pull up all of these seedlings and put them in pots. Until then, I just admire them as I dump my scraps.

One of my uncles gave me this ivy plant over the holidays. He had a bunch of them hanging from the pergola on his patio in Ft. Myers. There was some story about some teachers he bought them for...I don't know. Anyway, he had a bunch and offered me one. I loaded the thing--it has vines at least six feet long--into my hatchback and went to St. Pete for a few days. When I drove home, the cooking I had subjected it to in the hatch didn't seem to have affected it.

So naturally I concluded the thing it was invincible (I do test my plants awfully, I know), so I brought the ivy into my bedroom. I was super stoked because it's my first bedroom plant. Imagine--a plant in your bedroom! I never had imagined that, so when it finally occurred to me it blew my mind. I stared at it lovingly every day.

The only problem is that my bedroom is like a cave. It's some shade of dark 24/7 and always kind of cool. I put the plant up and forgot about it for a couple of weeks. Then I started noticing it was shedding a lot of brown leaves. I took it down and realized that the wall-facing side was dying. So I put it in the ICU, i.e., the backyard. I've been leaving it there to soak up some sun and rain, and hopefully it will pull through.

I do like having a bedroom plant. Maybe when I bring it back in, I'll rotate it more frequently so all the sides can suffer equally. "Nobody puts Baby in the corner!"

My Florida violets are thriving, although one much more visibly so than the other--don't ask me why, since they get the same amount of light and water. This native plant is sadly considered a weed in most people's landscapes. But I love it--my favorite plants seem to be considered weeds by most people--and am looking forward to the delicate blooms in later spring.

No comments: