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Hello everyone!

My regular readers know about my green thumb, and about how I use plants and flowers to decorate offices and homes around Albuquerque in my small business called Good To Grow.

I regularly visit the nurseries around the city, so I’m pretty well versed in their houseplant offerings, and most of their outdoor plants, too.

I don’t want to bash any of the nurseries or be mean to anyone, but I’m gonna go ahead and call it like I see it: Most their houseplant offerings are boring. There, I said it. They’re fairly healthy, and they’re usually pretty, but if you’re a plant enthusiast like myself, you’re not going to pay 20 bucks for a Philodendron. (I like Philodendrons plenty, but I’m not paying for one, I’ll just take cuttings!) Where are the interesting plants?

Also, most of the available houseplants were shipped in from either Florida or California. Considering how little diversity there is, it makes it even more disheartening that they had to travel so far.

I started thinking about growing my own plants. I wondered what would happen if I potted up some “normal” plants but in attractive ways, sold those, and used the money to start buying more exotic, more thoughtful plants.

I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try.

So several weeks ago I leapt into action. I looked at containers, quality soil, available plants. I applied for and received a grower’s license from the State of New Mexico. Before the first frost hit, I scooped up remaining herbs from various nurseries, because I thought herb bowls would sell well. Especially during the upcoming holiday season.

I planted cute little succulent bowls with seven to eight plants in each container. I planted various herb combos, like basil-chives-parsley or lemon balm-basil, then fussed over them while they grew bigger. I planted houseplant bowls with three to four plants in each container.

I worked on labels and care instructions that I wanted to include. I shopped at thrift stores for plates I could use as saucers (I believe they call that upcycling now). I watered and pruned and pampered my little brood in the spare bedroom.

In the middle of all that work, my computer died, promptly halting all labeling printing and various tasks. But I carried on, I was getting a lot of enjoyment out of growing the plants, so I figured everything would work out.

And now it’s starting to.

On Black Friday, I approached a lady named Stefanie, who owns a boutique in Nob Hill called Stilo. I’d been there several times before and everyone had always been nice. It’s filled with local items, like jewelry and clothes, purses, wallets. Stilo carries non-local products too, my favorites are Ties That Don’t Suck – gorgeous ties made in Detroit. It’s a cool shop.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, houseplants for sale in Albuquerque

I showed Stef photos of the plants on my phone, and her reaction was to tell me to hurry and get them in the store in time for Small Business Saturday the next day. She said she loves houseplants and used to have someone who brought them to the store, but she’d lost track of that person and didn’t know anyone was growing locally.

Score one for Team Liza!

As prepared as I was, I still had lots of finishing touches. So I went home and started printing things (I had the new laptop by then, obviously). I really truly believe that an herb bowl is a very thoughtful gift for avid cooks – especially in December – so I wanted to write out something about that. I wanted to include my business card so that the buyer would be able to contact me if they had questions about their new plants – plants with service, baby! And Stef had something about big signage, which I didn’t have.

So after a flurry of activity, I came back later in the day with five succulent bowls and three herb bowls. Here are some of them in the store a couple of days later:

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, houseplants grown in Albuquerque

(Hmmm…my business cards had been on each one.)

I’m hoping your first reaction is awwwwwww, cute! And not, dang that’s cheesy marketing!

I’m hoping that houseplant lovers will see the value in the pots with the multiple plantings. And the value of fresh herbs indoors in the winter.

Now I suppose I cross my fingers and hope for positive reactions. The comments section is a good place to start that – hint, hint!


Good To Grow is an Albuquerque-based interior and exterior landscaping service. We use plants and flowers to decorate offices, homes and patios around the city. We also offer memorial garden services, meaning that when a loved one passes, we can plant a customized garden in his or her honor. If the person who passed was an avid cook, we can plant an herb garden to honor that person’s memory. If a Veteran dies, we can plant a red, white, and blue perennial garden. If you lost a beloved pet, we can plant a garden around the burial site.

If you’d like to know more about the landscaping or memorial garden services offered, please send an email to lizatheplantlady at gmail dot com. Thank you for your consideration.

Q is for Quirky, no?

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Quirky 'burque

Si. Que? Yo ‘burquenos are loco! No? Haha, si, si!

Hollyhocks are starting to bloom all over town.

I love them!

I find them to be very feminine.

Maybe because their flowers made for the occasional tropical skirt for Barbie┬╣?

Or a colorful poncho for Ken?

I’ve been snapping pics here and there around Albuquerque for the last week or so, to see if I could capture my adoration on camera.

I have a feeling this will be an ongoing project…

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, pretty hollyhocks

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, pretty hollyhocks

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, pretty hollyhocks

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, pretty hollyhocks

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, pretty hollyhocks

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, pretty hollyhocks

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, pretty hollyhocks

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, pretty hollyhocks

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, pretty hollyhocks

Aaaaahhhhh, Hollyhocks! You so pretty!


┬╣ Just kidding. I was Barbie deprived during my childhood. Obviously, Ken deprived as well.


The deadline for guessing the current plant puzzler is tonight at midnight MST (that’s 2am EST), so if you haven’t ventured a guess, please feel free to do so now.

Is this plant real or fake?

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, real or fake plant puzzler

Leave your guess in the comment section or on my facebook wall.

I’ll reveal the answer and the winner(s) tomorrow after an all-new Ask the Experts panel. Hope to see you back here.

New Mexicans loooooove to use the Zia symbol to show state pride.

Good To Grow, Liza's photos, Zia pride

(This design is in Old Town, Albuquerque. But it’s not old.)

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About Me

Hi! My name is Liza. Welcome to my blog and thanks for visiting! I'm a Midwestern gal now living in Arizona, after many years of living in and owning a plant care business in New Mexico.

Plants are living, breathing creatures, and if they're indoor plants, they are 100% dependent on human care. They cannot water themselves.

I can beautify your home, office, or patio with plants and flowers. I have 13 years of experience growing plants, and friendships.

Please let me know if you have questions or if you would like help with your plants or garden. You can reach me at lizatheplantlady (at) gmail (dot) com or follow me on Twitter, Lizawheeler7.

All photos are mine unless otherwise noted. All content is also entirely my hard work. If you'd like to use any content or photos, all you have to do is ask. If you take without asking, you are a thief. And thieves suck. So don't suck. We have a deal? Good.