Friday, February 5

The Great Houseplant Census (Geographically Divided)


First off, I need to put out this general disclaimer:  I am NOT a houseplant person.  Really.  It's not about having houseplants, it's more about taking in strays for the winter.  Like the exotic hoya above that clearly deserved a good home--one in which it would be much admired.  Or like the lemongrass that had to be overwintered:


Or like the funky forms of common houseplants that found themselves tragically dumped on the clearance table at the garden center for some reason or another, like this twisty sansevieria:


And this variegated shefflera:


Sometimes, it's just about finding winter homes for plants that you want to have outside again in the summer, like this succulent and agave:


Or like this shell ginger, cordyline, agave, lipstick plant, and the thanksgiving cactus that dresses up the porch's little birdbath each summer:

And sometimes  it's just nice to have decor that distracts from undone projects, like my half-stripped leaded glass window:

Okay, so now that we've established that I am most definitely NOT a houseplant person... let's tally up how many denizens of the plant world have managed to infiltrate my domain anyway.  Mr. McGregor's Daughter is hosting The Great Houseplant Census of 2010 this week, so I figured it was as good a time as any to take a little inventory.  I think the census is always done geographically, so here goes:

Basement: 2
'Vancouver Centennial' geranium & passalong brugmansia

Kitchen: 45*
7 different cactus, Meyer lemon, 3 rosemary, 2 hoya, 1 amaryllis, a pot of aloe, 4 random succulents, 2 agave, 1 jasmine, 'Silver Satin' pothos, variegated pothos, monstera, cast iron plant, 'Autumn' philodendron, 'Cerveza & Lime' licorice plant, 2 staghorn ferns, silver kalanchoe, 12 tillandsias, 2 orchids
*Does not count a 4th rosemary that is on death's door, nor any of the many cuttings (succulents, wandering jew, coleus, etc.) that also are in residence there

Dining Room: 18
1 amaryllis, 2 (both paphs) orchids, 2 dark leaf begonias, variegated abutilon, variegated shefflera, lemongrass, orchid cactus, 'Twisted Sister' cast iron plant, twisty spider plant, agave, 2 succulents, large-leaf hoya, jade plant, peace lily, dark leaf philodendron

Living Room: 27*
Spider plant, cast iron plant, helichrysum, marjoram, sedum, asparagus fern, phormium, 12 different succulents in three different pots, shell ginger, euphorbia (crown of thorns relative), red cordyline, lipstick plant, blue agave, thanksgiving cactus, dark-leaf ficus, jewel orchid, ponytail palms
*Does not count the random succulent cuttings that are rooting at the base of the cordyline

Bathroom: 7
3 different draceana, purple heart/setcreasea, ZZ plant, spotted bromeliad, golden pothos

Bedrooms: 8
Variegated trailing philodendron, 3 different bromeliads, 2 huge cycads, black bamboo, multicolored croton

Attic: 20
2 bay laurels, 'Silver Falls' dichondra, 2 different elephant ears, Hawaiian snow bush, dutchman's pipe, snail vine, passionvine, abutilon melapotanicum, dragonwing begonia, rainbow draceana, euphorbia, lemon verbena, dark purple ajuga (long story!), 'Amazon Sunset' parrot's beak, curry plant, passalong plumeria, scented geranium, and that tropical plant that flowers in red clusters whose name always escapes me.

GRAND TOTAL:  127

... wow.  That's three digits.  WOW.  Um... I guess it's a good thing I'm NOT a houseplant girl, isn't it?! 

19 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

That is quite a collection for someone that isn't a houseplant person. Quite a geography lesson too with plants from all over the world. Your stairway looks very inviting with all of those plants sitting there as official greeters.

Msrobin said...

Face it Kim, you are a houseplant person, whether you believe it or not! 127 is quite a healthy collection of plants. I haven't officially counted yet, but preliminary counts say about 50, and that's a lot. And I *am* a houseplant person!

Greensparrow said...

Haha! This is about how my count went: I first thought, I'm not a house plant person, most of these are just refugees from the summer garden waiting until spring. I can't possibly have too many... and then I started counting...

Leslie said...

There is no shame in being a houseplant person Kim! I love your steps...they looks so inviting.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Can you say "in denial"? You're like the old lady who takes in all the stray cats in the neighborhood (not that there's anything wrong with that). I think you're the first to have plants in the attic. That sounds like a metaphor, or maybe the title of a novel. Thanks for participating. I'm feeling oh, so right.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Greenbow Lisa, good point about the plants being a geography lesson in and of themselves! A lot of the succulents and such are from Madagascar, in fact... the guys at the glasshouse (I volunteer there at the Cleveland Botanical Garden) like to share their extras with me.

Msrobin, SEE! If I were a houseplant person, I would have a much more reasonable number. Like your 50!
(Does my justification work?!?! ;)

Greensparrow, whew! I'm glad to know that you understand how these unfortunate things happen to non-houseplant people. LOL. I'm going to head over to your blog later today to check out how many plants have invaded YOUR space, too.

Leslie, thank you. It works out nicely all around to have the plants there, since that's a bright space--the leaded glass window faces south.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter, I HAVE taken in stray cats before, now that you mention it!!! But see, I'm not looking for these strays--THEY just find ME. (In fact, that's how my ex-husband and I got our second cat... Halle walked right into my office at work one day!)

Anyway, I'm glad that I could help you prove your point to VIS. :)

Annie in Austin said...

Destiny demands that you grow all those plants, Kim...why else would there be a window placed exactly where it can flood light onto the stair landing?

When looking at the warm-climate plants like agaves and lemon tree, and thinking about that staircase, my mind flashed back to Henry Mitchell's stories of bringing in the potted agaves and tropicals before frost, filling the dining room and wrecking the rugs....see - you're following in classic footprints!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

lisa said...

That was fun! I like how you went room to room...I had to do that to get my count (76 total). Looks to me like you're the most successful "non-houseplant person" I know! :)

Grasshopper said...

Hi Kim, I agree. You're definitely not a houseplant person. Not at all. :) I really like your stairs, the plants just add a more homey attraction to your window. Happy gardening!

Commonweeder said...

It's a good thing you are not a houseplant person, or you wouldn't be able to fit inside your house! Impressive!

joey said...

Wow ... 127 houseplants ... you have long loving arms, Kim, but we knew that :) Happy Birthday wishes for a beautiful day!

George Africa said...

Hi Kim;

Birthday greetings! Just noticed on your profile oakleaf hydrangea, trillium grnadiflorum and beech tree. Could have found the same likes on my blog. Great minds!

Always enjoy your blog and images.Have a nice day.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Kim,
I came to wish you a happy birthday. I have lots going on getting ready for a kitchen remodel, and haven't been blogging as much as I like to.

I am impressed with your houseplant census. I don't have many inside during the warm season, either, but have lots that need to winter inside. We'll see if I get a chance to count them.

Have a great birthday!

Layanee said...

Happy Birthday to a non-houseplant kind of person with a bad stray adoption habit.

Gail said...

I can only say WOW! gail and I do hope you had a great birthday.

Heather's Garden said...

Wow, you are an addict indeed! I always intend to do things like overwinter lemongrass, but then I think about keeping it alive over the winter with my one southern window (which shines directly on my kitchen sink) and I decide that buying a new one for $5 every year really isn't all that bad.

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

That dark begonia is very pretty... cool contrast in color.

chuck b. said...

Omg, 127?! Fortunately, many of them appear somewhat drought tolerant. We have one plant and two small terrariums. I can barely remember they exist.

Kylee from Our Little Acre said...

I'm SO proud of you! You've come a long way from a couple of winters ago! Take a bow! :-)

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