Showing posts from January, 2017

The Mysterious Secret of Successfully Growing Houseplants

I am, without boasting, good at growing house plants. I wasn't always. House plants used to die and wither for me, just as they do for most people. But then I discovered the mysterious secret of looking after house plants. My house plants now flourish: they grow glossy healthy leaves, they flower, and they propagate. I give them away for Mothers' Day and at Christmas and at birthdays. I have African Violets that are the sixth generation of propagation from plants bought for £1 at the supermarket. I have Peace Lilies a metre high, grown from off-shoots of plants three years ago. Here, I will let you into the mysterious secret of successfully growing house plants. Every day, I check the plant's soil. If it is dry, I water it: if not, I don't. That's it. Every day. Every single day. That's it. The mysterious secret of looking after house plants. Look after them. That's it.


Walls are in the news right now: physical walls as well as metaphorical ones - designed to keep people out from where they want to be. In running we talk about The Wall - hitting the wall. It refers to the time in a long run where you can't go on - a step change in your physical and mental condition that is so great that you risk being unable to continue at all. They call it hitting the wall because that is what it is like - sudden, painful, and insurmountable. Of course many runners do surmount the wall - but it vividly captures the change of state between  being OK and being decidedly not OK. I have been lucky in that I haven't actually hit the wall - perhaps because I am so slow, I sort of stumble into it. So rather than hit the wall hard and bounce off, slumping to the ground injured and defeated, I tend to sort of tumble awkwardly over it. So I have got off lightly - so far - with hitting the wall. But still for me it represents that step change - an abrupt, surprising