I have some really fond memories of my Nana and Granddad’s windowsills, which were always crammed with houseplants in all shapes and sizes. There simply wasn’t any space left for non-living ornaments!
ONE. Hoya carnosa (Wax plant). My Nana used to grow Hoya carnosa on a hoop, twining it’s eager stems round and round, and tucking in the waxy leaves as we needed to. Every year, I used to get super excited when the small clusters of flower buds used to appear, which slowly swelled over a few weeks until finally bursting open with cartoon-like, waxy blooms. Then, the best bit, the sweet nectar from each individual, which I used to lick off each bloom! Crazy kid.
TWO. Lithops (Living Stones). I find it so heart-warming that succulents are experiencing a revival these days, as I feel I was there at the very beginning. In my mind, the trend in growing succulents began in my Nana’s bungalow in 1988. We used to grow these ‘living stones’ from seed, and damn it was fun! Each one was different and, if we were lucky, would produce an uttery crazy, daisy-like yellow flower!
THREE. Cape Primrose (Streptocarpus). Another one that we used to grow from seed, or from slices of leaves used as cuttings! Irresistibly funky, although rather lop-sided, Streptocarpus make a really easy windowsill plant and me and my Nana had lots of different colours. Little did we know that Dibley’s would breed some even better ones in the years that followed, I wish my Nana would’ve been around to see them, especially ever-blooming types such as ‘Crystal Ice’!
FOUR. Jelly Beans Plant (Sedum rubrotinctum). Another succulent! This proves I was always ahead of the curve, even when I wore jelly shoes to school (or not!) This Sedum is pretty, with bulging leaves and rudolph red tips. Easy to propagate, even the leaves that fall to the ground will root, whether you want them to or not!
FIVE. Achmea fasciata (Urn Plant). This one used to always live on the top of my Nana’s wardrobe.. well, except the one month of the year when it was in flower! I remember always being fascinated by the fact that you watered it from the top, straight into the big leafy bowl! When I was 10 years old, I never imagined I’d see them in the wild, as part of my jungle trek! Fab plant!!!
Isn’t it amazing how we get our love of plants. I followed my mother around the garden, enjoying the sun and a warm breeze. Wonderful memories Michael.
Pingback: New Cactus Shop: on the search of a Prick in London – Michael Perry – Mr Plant Geek