Sunday, August 25, 2013


I derive great pleasure from my plants. My materials consist of a $1.99 pair of white cotton gloves, a paring knife, a pair of scissors, and my roommate's green hose. I’m forever buying pots: pots glazed with pale green, rough brown Indonesian pots, ordinary terra cotta pots.

“I’m gardening!” I think, balancing a Christmas cactus  in one hand, a bamboo orchid cutting in the other, and holding my hip against that fuzzy cactus thing with the ruffled leaves I filched from a friend's garden in the Hollywood Hills.

I still have bromeliads from a plant I originally got 23 years ago. This bromeliad is the perfect plant. Overwater it, underwater it, neglect to repot it, it will grow "pups" which you can neatly slice off with a paring knife, or if you’re too busy to walk to the kitchen, simply twist off, stick into a pot of cut-rate potting soil, forget to water, and next thing you know it has ten pups of its own and is taking over the patio.

Every few days I go out there and say You are SO BEAUTIFUL! you are doing SO FREAKIN GREAT! I pluck stray twigs, leaves, and bunches of pepper berries that have fallen from the towering tree above from betwixt their dear fronds. I snip off any dead leaves. I stroke, compliment, soothe, encourage--and above all, admire. Look at you, you strapping creature! Wow, you are growing like a son-of-a-gun!

I feel sure children would do well under this regimen, too--though I understand you have to interact with them more often than every few days.




  1. a nice collection of bits and bobs but you need an air plant (Tillandsia) to cap it off - they require only light and air. Thanks Heather. I have a few plant orphans here - things in containers I've picked up and they mean something to me.

  2. Good morning, Heather, fellow lick-and-promise-gardener: I've been flying by the seat of my pants for years now in the same way you have!! Kill 'em with kindness and they show you who they are in ways unimaginable. Each time I visit my family in California I bring back some little snippit of cactus. It has to acclimate to my hot weather here, but eventually it does and viola!! instant beauty. When my husband I retired to this 7-acres, I had an empty pallette, one to create and do whatever I wanted. At first I went wild and planted "stuff" that would never make it because I haven't the wherewithal to endure as they do. So year after year I replaced the "stuff" with real stuff including heat tolerant (which you don't have to worry about where you are) and also drought-resistent as I occasionally can't water as I should. I have a FABULOUS, WONDERFUL garden and yard now and each day I tell every little plant creature how great they are doing and keep up the good work. It never fails!!

    God is like this for me also. Each day He shows me something that I'm doing right! How can we fail with such a great provider and how can we not get watered ourselves with His love and the blood of His precious Son. Sometimes when the world is messy and horrible, I just retreat to my garden and talk to the flowers. And sometimes when I'm talking to the flowers, God talks to me!! Am I blessed or what!? Thanks, Heather, as always, for putting a great spin on a very simple subject. Hugs from hot Texas!

  3. Oh, if there is one thing that I miss about living in LA, in Los Feliz, is the light, the patio, the plants... I actually miss a lot of things, but your post reminds me of how I loved what grew there. Even the plants that were inside, they grew so tall, so beautifully, so fully. Abundant life!

  4. They look great, Heather. I love tending my garden and my house plants. Seems like you have the right plants in the right place!

  5. You're so freakin' great! Hilarious. I'm totally telling my plants (& kids) that!

  6. So glad you all got a kick out of my little "garden"...It's true, almost every one of those plants has a story. So I look at them and I think of the friends whose yards I plucked the cutting from, or the day I drove to the Cactus Center and had lunch with another friend, or that trip down the 110 to the weird clay pot place around Torrance just off the freeway...The worst is when I have to put some of them in the green bin that the city takes away. Goodbye for now! I tell them. You are off to be born again as a new plant...

  7. This makes me smile. It's the small things that bring such joy.

  8. How beautiful. I love plants and I especially have a soft spot for succulents and cacti - they're living sculptures.

    Also, I love your essay in Magnifact today on The Martyrdom of St John the Baptist.

    Stay close to Christ, Heather, and continue writing as long as He wills it!

  9. Heather! Beautiful...just beautiful.
    You have been on my mind so much lately.
    I hope you are well and I wanted to pass on to you
    two sweet reads: One Minute with God for Women by Hope Lyda
    and The Practice of the Presence of God with Spiritual Maxims by Brother Lawrence. Every time I pick them up I think of you :) Hope to see you in May in Malvern Pa
    Love and hugs <3

  10. Theresa, thanks so much. I love the Brother Lawrence book but haven't heard of the other...still trying to nail down a date for Malvern next year...will post on my events page as soon as it's settled. Blessings to you, sister!


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