Friday, August 20, 2010

Bring Up those Oxygen Levels, Please

A beautiful little shrub from New Zealand. I settled it next to some spiky rosemary

I love houseplants. Love them. They're so pretty. And so small. And you get to use pottery, which I love, too. But our houses (recently) have been kind of dark. Houseplants don't like dark. They want to live, Live, LIVE! Or, at least, to have some sunshine.

String of pearls, my favorite succulent ever, plus some horsetail grass and a couple of reddish succulents for color. In a pot made by the potter Jay Jacobs, whose move away from LA gave me the chance to snap up a ton of gorgeous pots for practically the cost of chewing gum.

Now think about my classroom. My classroom with its 14-foot-high ceilings. And its western exposure. And the bank of windows along the western wall, each one about 8 feet tall. Oui. Sunshine. Naturally, I toodled over to Cactus and Tropicals to scratch my succulent itch.

A rubber plant, plus something wonderful called Old Man's Bones. Oh, and some jade in the background.

I already had plant stands, so once the loot was plopped into its new home, I could just pop them up on the stands and pour in some libations. Water, anyone? Anyone?

I forget what this one is called, but it's interesting. And I tossed the extra bits of succulent on top so they'll grow. One of the best things about succulents is that if some parts fall off (and they will) you just toss them onto dirt and they grow roots and resume their lives. Just now, watching a documentary on architecture, I saw Julius Shulman pluck off a branch of jade and throw it up the hill. Because he knows - it's going to grow!

Maybe I went a little overboard. I eventually made 4 large pots, plus two small ones. Plus 2 small pots at home that hold the detritus, and that will eventually make me more plants. But hey - it's a huge room! What seemed like a ton of pots in my house looked like a dot once in my room:

Two tiny plants on my desk (above) plus three visible on plant stands and on the filing cabinet (below).

As I moved them into the building, the maintenance guys just laughed. First, because they never see me without a ton of crap I'm schlepping, and second because (as they put it) "You getting some more oxygen in there?"

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