Tuesday, January 4, 2011

For the New Year: Change from Within

It has occurred to me that pride and perfectionism are among the sources of the difficulties I have had coming up with posts recently. I take great pride in having healthy, good-looking houseplants, and I love writing about and showing photos of my successes. But I also feel embarrassment bordering on shame when something goes wrong. I suppose such feelings are understandable when the problem is due to lapses in care (forgetting to water, or worse, putting off watering for too long; not keeping up with grooming; placing a plant in a spot that I know is all wrong for it. These are all things of which I have been guilty from time to time.) But the embarrassment is kind of silly when a plant starts to decline for reasons I don't understand, or for reasons I don't necessarily have full control over. (Pest infestations come to mind for the latter.) This has prevented me from posting pictures of plants in less than good condition, and more importantly, from sharing things I might do to fix things. It also deprives me of the chance to provide good before-and-after shots of things that do improve.

So this year, I resolve to be more forthcoming with the problems I have with my plants and, gasp, to even post the occasional ugly picture. Like the following:

Bedraggled Hibiscus rosa-sinensis plants, quarantined in my basement after treatment for a white fly infestation. I'm hoping that they recover.

While I hope less embarrassment will lead to more interesting posts, I do hope that my plants will thwart my resolve just a little bit, by staying healthy and good-looking!


grumblebunny said...

Dude! Please feel free to post ugly pictures. As a rookie (indoor) gardener and recovering black thumb, I learn far more from others' botanical ups and downs than I do from flawless trophy galleries. Especially in your case, since you seem to own/have owned all the plants I covet (aspidistra elatior 'variegata,' epipremnums 'N' joy' & 'neon,' sansevierias 'coppertone' & 'bantel's sensation,' sundry colorful aglaonemas, etc.) (Actually, I just got a 'bantel's sensation,' which is miraculously surviving thanks to daily incantations and the occasional blood sacrifice. That's my story, anyway, and I'm sticking to it.)

Thomas said...

'STAR(T)' magazine, now in your local garden store! (the cover pictures exotic houseplants caught in unflattering, unguarded moments, with captions like:)

You'll never believe who has SPIDERMITES!!!.... Look who dropped her buds - IN PUBLIC!!!... Someone should tell him he needs a BIGGER POT!!!.

Tom said...

Hibiscus are fun like that. My bet is they'll be vaguely ugly until spring and then they'll end up outside and grow beautifully. I think Hibiscus just like to look ugly indoors.

CelticRose said...

Well, your hibiscus look a lot better than the ones that grow outside around here (Mesa, AZ). Ours usually have yellow leaves but bloom up a storm anyway.

I second grumblebunny's post. Your mistakes/difficulties can be a learning experience for others.

@Thomas: ROTFLOL!!

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

LOL Karen this is a great post. I am a perfectionist. Even though my husband would disagree. He is not in my head. I always want to post the perfect picture. But in reality a blog is partly a learning adventure. I should also post about my ups and downs with my plants. Because not only is this not a perfect world but someone might know how to help the problem I might be having. Duh thanks for pointing that all out.

Karen715 said...

Thank you, grumblebunny, Thomas, Tom, CelticRose and Candy, for the nice comments. I guess it is a learning and growing process for everyone.

Thomas, thanks especially for the laugh!

I'm fairly sure that the Hibiscus will turn out okay, if the whiteflies don't come back.

Mandy said...

That's funny because I think the same thing! I did post my poor little Plumeria's after an early frost got them, but couldn't bring myself to share them naked without any leaves! Thank goodness they're growing new covering!!