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Introducing Lawrence the Terrible on drums:

He knows it’s an affectionate nickname – he was named after my Grandfather, who was the opposite of terrible. Like my Grandfather, Lawrence hails from Wisconsin. They grow ’em hearty up there. Lawrence was a farmer before joining the band. He wants to start every song with a drum solo, luckily, he’s outnumbered.

On piano, we have Adele the Charming Plectranthus (she’s not Swedish, nor an Ivy):

Adele is also from Wisconsin, she learned to play piano as a seedling and never lost her enthusiasm for playing. She believes herself to be the most important member of the E Sill Band. That’s most likely leftover baggage from her trip to the West Windowsill last year – she couldn’t handle the heat and it embarrassed her, now she overcompensates.

Next, we have Haworthia “Screamin'” Hank, guitar, on the left, and Leverett the Skyreacher on stand up bass, to the right:

Hank’s from Washington, DC. He likes art and science, bright light, an occasional scotch, and porous soil. He spends his free time writing romantic poems for the lady succulents in the plant hospital.

Leverett, an Orchid Cactus¹, is from Connecticut. After abandoning college, he wanted to become a male exotic dancer, but chose life as a musician instead. He tried a number of stringed instruments before settling on bass as his favorite. He travels the club circuit, so watch your local newspaper for announcements of his upcoming engagements.

And of course, on vocals, Rosa the Jade:

You wouldn’t know it by looking at Rosa, but she’s very old. She lived in the farmhouse in Indiana where I grew up, and she used to be gigantic. Over the years, I’ve almost killed her five, FIVE times, by overwatering her. Each time, I salvaged whatever pieces I could and pulled her through, spewing apologies as I did. As a consequence, she’s lost her size, but not her heart. She loves to sing at the top of her leaves. I can’t make out the words, but I imagine most of her songs go like, “I’m alive, I’m alive, that’s just great, I’m alive, I love being alive, yay for me, I’m alive.”

I’ll be back manana, hope to see you here.

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My crappy red “curtains”:  I hung two pieces of fabric up in haste when I got a new neighbor in the back. Effective but not pretty. I intended to replace them with actual curtains, but then I forgot about it until I saw these photos. It’s funny how easy it is to stop seeing something that’s right in front of you. I should probably throw in a blanket “my bad” for all future pictures where you can see I need to clean my windows, too.

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¹ Epiphyllum, epiphyllum, epi, epicactus, Disocactus, Heliocereus – what a headache! How could I possibly tell the difference – they all look the same to me! It could be that Disocactus ackermannii is the same plant as Epiphyllum ackermannii, and that one name has been swapped for the other. When I start researching scientific names, I get overwhelmed quickly. Everyone has a different opinion and a different name, and there are five gazillion hybrids out there as well. I can spend hours following links only to find that I’m no closer to a definitive answer. Part of the problem is that I’ve never seen Lev bloom, and blossoms provide lots of key information about a plant – will the blossoms open at night or during the day? Are they fragrant or not? Does it blossom in spring or summer? All are keys to finding Lev’s true identity. For now, he’ll remain a generic epi to science, and Big Bad Lev to the band.

Hello baked potatoes, and happy Monday. Welcome back! Hope you all had a plantastic weekend, I know I did.

I’ve been wondering – where do you spend most of your time when you’re home? On the couch? In the garden? In front of the stove? In the office?

I spend more time at my kitchen sink than any other place in the house. I’ve written about windowsills before, here and kitchen sinks and windowsills, here. I correctly pointed out back then that the kitchen sink isn’t glamorous like a stove or flashy like a refrigerator, but that without it, the kitchen would grind to a halt.

Here’s the photo I posted of my windowsill plants (with a different camera¹):

The last time I posted, I said that for as much time as I spend at the sink, those poor windowsill plants suffer mightily. You see, when I’m at the sink, I’m doing something – washing vegetables, washing my hands after cutting fruit, filling up plant buckets, dumping the last bit of coffee out of a cup. You know, something other than paying attention to the windowsill plants.

I implemented a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule that somehow morphed into Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday or Sunday. Sigh. To be honest, none of them were happy except for Sam the Aloe, who was repotted a month or two earlier.

I wasn’t happy either. I didn’t bond with them as much as I should’ve, even though they were right in front of me for months. Plus, the whole area was getting too cluttered for my liking. I do not like clutter.

I decided something had to give.

I know, it’s not the greatest view. That’s why I like to have good visual stimulation in the windowsill itself. Don’t worry – I didn’t throw any plants away. When a friend was over the other day, I snuck the Orchid into her car. The Moonflower – if it in fact was a Moonflower, I’m not sure – is planted in the back yard underneath a tree. The Cactus is in a different windowsill, and Sam the Aloe will be right back.

I had an idea for how I wanted the south-facing windowsill to look.

My landlady had all sorts of cute tea containers that she gave me. I liked how colorful they were.

I’d started growing herbs a few weeks earlier from one of those kits for kids – it had Basil, Chives and Parsley. I figured the herbs might grow well in the tea containers.

I set up shop in the plant hospital (aka, spare bedroom) as the winds were howling 600 to 700 miles per hour outside. Newspapers² made the clean-up process easier. Note the high-quality potting soil, FoxFarm. I do not want gnats in my house.

I packed as much dirt into each container as I could. I’m going to have to transplant the herbs at a later date, because they’ll get too big for these small containers. Particularly because the Parsley will need more room for its roots.

But also because I accidentally planted too many of the seeds. The packets said to plant 4-6 seeds in each pot, which still is an enormous amount of herbs, but the seeds were so small, that, well, I guess I planted a few more than that:

That’s a LOT of Basil³, haha! Oops!

I split them into smaller groups, but they will still get too big. For now, though, these containers are perfect. I also used a leftover coffee can for some of the seedlings.

I knew the tin cans would leak a little water, so I found some trays at Target to collect the water.

Once I got the herbs planted, I could put the windowsill back together.

Ah, this feels great. And you know how much I loved my previous windowsill, right? I like this one so much better that I’m like “what other windowsill?”

I have a feeling these little fellows will command my attention – they’re so cheerful! It helps that I get to eat them one day.

They’re cute, aren’t they? The trays make it easier for me to rotate the baby herbs every day, which they beg for by enthusiastically reaching for the sun. Such goofs!

Ok, these are not my best before and after pictures ever, but you get the gist of the transformation. The container that Sam is perched on is an upside down infant formula container that my landlady also gave me. I have several – anyone want one? Or have suggestions for what I can do with the others? There are only so many plant “thrones” I can handle in my house.

I’ll bet if you look around your house, you could find cuuute containers for herbs. If you do, I hope you photograph them, and then submit photos in the contest that Fern is having over at Life On the Balcony. Be forewarned, however, your creations will be up against mine – I’m going to go submit my herb containers now. Good luck against my adorable cuties – hahahahaha! You will lose. Hahaha, hopefully anyway. I mean, you’re not a loser or anything, but I’m very fond of my entry. Note to self: Be a more gracious winner.

I’ll back tomorrow with another edition of Good To Grow. Until then, happy indoor and outdoor gardening!

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¹ I apologize – most of the photos in this post weren’t really up to snuff. I don’t know why I can’t take a decent photo in my kitchen.

² If anyone has questions, any questions at all, about the “Guilty” headline and the unfortunate woman in the photo, please don’t hesitate to ask. It seemed wrong to gossip in the main post, but somehow in the comments section seems fine. This newspaper has very nearly inspired me to begin another blog writing only about things I read in there, so any questions at all. Oh, especially, if you want to ask about the candidates for sheriff, that’d be good.

³ I’ll have to invite Steve the homeless guy over for Caprese salads. Hahaha, NOT! *^$#@ Steve.

Happy Tuesday to all my garlic cloves out there!

Last night I weeded and weeded and weeded some more. It was pretty chilly, so my hands were frozen by the time nightfall rolled around. As I stood at the kitchen sink letting the water warm my hands, I thought about how much time I spend there.

I wrote a post a few months ago that I called “Ode to Kitchen Sinks and Windowsill Plants.” I argued that while the kitchen sink is not glamorous, the kitchen would come to a standstill without it.

But it’s not just the kitchen windowsill I love so much. It’s windowsills in general.

This is the windowsill in my “Plant Hospital.” Cuttings are one of my favorite aspects of indoor gardening – growing my own new plants offers tremendous satisfaction.

I always seem to have lots growing. Yet I’m considering taking on more, as in herbs and vegetables. Why I don’t already have an herb garden growing is beyond me.

I went looking for ideas to further decorate my windowsills, and found this on Apartment Therapy’s site. I love it.

This is another one from Apartment Therapy. That site always inspires me to look for creative containers for my plants. I’m going to enjoy looking for something in which to plant my herbs.

So tell me, what’s growing on your windowsills?

I spend A LOT of time at my kitchen sink. Cooking, cleaning, entertaining – everything begins and ends with the kitchen sink.

The kitchen sink is not glamorous. It’s not shiny like a refrigerator, or glowing like an oven. But without it, the kitchen would come to a standstill.

I remember growing up in an old farmhouse in Indiana that was so cold this time of year. I’d complain to Mom, and she’d tell me to put on a sweater. Which I would do and still be cold. So then I’d complain again and she would send me to do the dishes. “It’ll warm you up,” she’d say.

And she was right. To this day, whenever I’m cold, I go straight to the kitchen sink. I don’t have dishes to wash – because I have a dishwasher and I’m also a neat freak who does her dishes right after she uses them – but just standing there, running water over my hands, warms me right up.

This is Sam the Aloe. Did you know that folklore says that an Aloe in your kitchen will protect your home from fire?

In the past, I’ve also snapped of a branch of Aloe when I’ve burned myself cooking. Its salve soothes burns. But a few days ago, Mom told me that was a terrible idea. She’s an EMT and while I don’t see the harm in the Aloe, she was very against it. So I won’t use it for that – promise!

You’d think with all the time I spend at the kitchen sink, the plants on my windowsill would be lush and thriving. Not so much.

I always tell people that you should only have to check on your houseplants once a week. That’s for anything in a 6″ pot or bigger. For the little guys, they need a lot more care. As my friend Molly says, “they need a teaspoon of water every day.” I’m not good with the daily care, so I splash them every few days or whenever I remember.

They get really thirsty, then I panic and give them too big of a splash. Then their leaves get all spotty and gross. This is not the way to treat babies, folks.

I’m not proud of this, but I decided not to lie about it. I’m great at taking care of other people’s plants in my small plant care business, but once I’m home, sometimes I can barely muster the energy to take care of my own. And that sucks, because if they could talk, I bet they would cheer, “Liza’s home, Liza’s home” when I walk in the door.

Ok, now this cute little gal is a Moonflower. I’ve never tried to grow one before so she’s an experiment. I planted her from seed, and she’s starting to climb.

I don’t know what possessed me to make lattice out of straws and yarn, but whatever. She seems to like it.

I could post these photos and thoughts and tell you that I’m the greatest plant expert ever. But it’s not true. I decided to start this blog to show people that having relationships with houseplants is intimate and rewarding. But just as relationships between humans sometimes go wrong, so do relationships with plants.

I’m hoping with your help, I can get this Moonflower to thrive. Who’s cared for one before, and what advice can you give me? I’m going to set all of my windowsill plants on a schedule – Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Those are the days I’ll check on them, and this time I’ll be disciplined about it. Hopefully in the coming months, I can show you Moonflower blossoms. Wouldn’t that be nice?

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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.

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