And then there were three. Antoine, Fizz, and Florence. They were to be the start of my project to turn my fingers green. I ordered them from somewhere on the internet (much to my surprise who knew you could post plants!!), they proceeded to spend 10 days in the postoffice parcel collection building and then they made it home! I can’t tell you what kind of plants they are, only that I choose them because they said they were difficult to kill and were ‘good for you’: something about your indoor air cleanliness. I thought this was most likely nonsense, even if it was nonsense I was happy to go along with until I found some information about NASA recommending house plants (see link below).
I have now had them over a year, they were originally Firs Villa residents, and they have survived a house move, some VERY sporadic watering – both extremely dry periods and extremely wet ones, and for Antoine and Fizz, a repotting! Florence is doing marvelously, but the other two seem to be slowly getting smaller and smaller (not what I was expecting of plants) despite the recent addition of plant food and I really am lost as to what the problem may be. Above you can see them in their majestic newly arrived grandeur (yes I made a pot sizing error, but if you think Antoine’s pot is bad you should have seen the pot that Fizz was supposed to go in: about the size of an egg cup…). Below you can see them currently – Florence doing well, but the other two looking a little sorry for themselves.
Shortly after these guys arrived I saw a couple of posts on pinterest about growing your own avocado tree ( https://uk.pinterest.com/explore/growing-an-avocado-tree/ ). The occupants of Firs Villa were avocado eating machines and this sounded like a brilliant idea (ignoring the time period before you actually get an avocado…) not to mention how rewarding it would be to grow an actual tree out of your casual avocado stone. So, armed with cocktail sticks, I set about soaking a handful of avocado stones in whatever small containers I could get my hands on. To start with they were all named with A names, but as nothing grew it quickly became apparent that the was futile.
However, a couple of months later it was sadly the end of Firs Villa and these little guys (about 10 of them) had done nothing except grow mouldy, and moving house is difficult enough without trying to carry 10 small pots of water and some mouldy avocado seeds around, so sadly they all went in the bin.
And that was the end of it. Until a few months later I visited home and discovered that the singular avocado stone that my brother had abandoned in a pot of water in the kitchen that may parents had been keeping filled with water WAS GROWING. Despite being in a pot filled with mould, and having a narrow escape from the bin when they almost gave up on it, it now had three large roots filling up its jar. And if they can grow an avocado without even thinking about it, I certainly wasn’t going to give up. And so the many pots of avocados reappeared on my windowsills, this time I regularly changed their water over, deliberately tried to put them in the warmest places possible and every so often changed a few stones that were starting to look a bit shrivelled. Eventually I had success. First one, and eventually three, of my little avocado stones first put down roots and then eventually SPROUTED. They have now been actually planted in real soil and seem to be doing very well. The rest of the mouldy stones went in the bin, as three is quite enough to be going on with, and when I visit home I can see the progress that the original plant is making and ask my dad what he does to keep it alive. Below you can see my three when they were originally planted, and then about six weeks on, plus the colossal giant that lives in Steeple Morden.
My right most plant (the first to be planted) is named Atticus the second (Atticus the first being a small cactus that we carried around europe with us for 6 weeks in summer 2011 and featured in the potentially award-winning composition “Domesticated-cactus-in-plywood” [see below], an incident that caused hours of hilarity in some delirious-hungry-spent-too-much-time-on-trains-hostel-bound-travelling girls.) He was unfortunately accidentally abandoned in the camping area of Sziget festival in Budapest. The other two avocado plants have yet to be named but I will try to pick other famous fictitious characters beginning with A.
Finally, my most recent addition to my indoor plant family is this christmas cactus that my dad grew, I believe he grew one for each family member out of bits that came off the christmas cactus they have in the toilet. We shall see how it survives now it is with me…