Our Own Private Jungle

We’re lucky to have this little greenhouse attached just off the back of our bedroom. Unheated, it is only really useful in the summer. But in the summer a lot of my houseplants go for a little vacation here. At first I thought that all that light would be good but soon discovered that it was actually too much of a good thing. It faces west and the hot afternoon sun was too strong for the jades and even the cacti.

Little Buddha shrine under the Christmas Cactus
Little Buddha shrine under the Christmas Cactus

Being garage “sailors”, we soon collected the perfect foil for the sun and made my plants very very happy. Bamboo blinds cover the windows and on the ceiling we have stapled a collection of rattan beach mats, most found at sales and some for only a couple of dollars in Chinatown.

When I move the plants out to the greenhouse, suddenly the rest of the house seems to somehow feel bigger and lighter. In the greenhouse they are all packed in together. Gazing out of the bedroom, it seems like we have our own private jungle.

The only problem is that plants left in here tend to get huge. The jade hardly fits through a doorway anymore.

The ever growing Jade plant in the shaded corner of the greenhouse
The ever growing Jade plant in the shaded corner of the greenhouse

Then there is the added problem of what to do with Jade plant prunings.

Jade plant cuttings waiting for new homes
Jade plant cuttings waiting for new homes

Well, you can’t just throw them out can you? Well, I don’t seem to be able to. I pot them up so there’s always a bunch of new little jade plants coming up in the summer. Luckily I’ve managed to give a few away. I tell people, to entice them, that in Feng Shui jades are “money plants” and they must have some to attract money into their homes. Seems to work. Hey, everything needs a little “marketing”.

Just a preview of December's big show
Just a preview of December’s big show

As for the Christmas Cactus, well, as you can see it loves the space, popping out a few blooms for my benefit. It’ll really go crazy just before Christmas. The spider plant, which usually resides in the studio, also vacationed in the greenhouse. It has grown abundantly and I wonder how it’ll fit back in the studio again.

Spider plant looking for more space
Spider plant looking for more space

But the nights are growing colder and soon my little jungle will have to move back into the house. Somehow I’ll have to squeeze them through the doorways and into corners all over the house. Then the house will feel like a jungle. But through the colder, grayer days of winter that’ll be kind of nice too.

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One thought on “Our Own Private Jungle

  1. mary-lou says:

    And think of all that O-2 they’re giving away! We too will have a place for plants soon…

    Thanks for continuing to inspire us Helen!

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