I have a mild obsession with creating and owning my own garden, and seeing as how I live in NYC, the lofty dream is to cultivate an indoor jungle.
The only problem: I have what they call a chronic brown thumb. (Before you judge me, my mother has a master’s in botany and still has about the same aptitude for keeping plants alive as me.)
It was worst when I used to live in my tiny Lower East Side/Chinatown apartment. The ventilation and humidity control were so f*cked that my succulents would rot even when I’d never water them after bringing them home.
This was especially heartbreaking when I’d finally landed my hands on a bear paw plant (Cotyledon tomentosa), which are annoyingly difficult to find in New York. If you’re not familiar with the species, they are the most adorably FAT, fuzzy little succulents you’ve ever seen, and even have little spiky tips that look like mini claws to boot. Turns out these guys HATEHATEHATE excess moisture with a passion, and without fail, even the healthiest, lushest variety would fall to pieces within mere days.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised that my new place in Long Island City is quite arid (even if Boyfriend complains constantly that “it’s too dry.” Whatever. I’m from California so this is my jam). Steadily, I’ve been collecting plants to call my own, crowing about how cute they are and how they brighten up the place. And to my immense delight, none have died yet!
Once my collection had gotten big enough, I needed a nicer arrangement to display them all, especially since most of my plants are not in flower and all you could see was a placid sea (or well, windowsill) of green. Plus, I wanted to put some junk from elsewhere around the house to good use.
Voilà! My windowsill garden makeover (I even have a new bear paw! Though admittedly, it’s not the most attractive BP you’ve ever seen…):
I’ve also decided to start displaying cut flowers around the house on a regular basis. Bought these bouquets from the local flea market for $15:
My next project in gardening: getting these new mail order succulents cleaned up and back in shape:
I’m thinking of a recycled candy tin planter for the little paws.
More to come.