So many thanks to the talented Lauren Lopez for designing the Rooted Blog when I miserably failed at the same task. As she & I met to consider the look for the blog I thought of a photo Kevin & I took in Ecuador.
Here's the set-up: we had hired a guide to take us hiking through the Amazon. As we were walking through the farms bounding the jungle we came across this coleus:
Obviously, it gets heavy rains, which taught me that maybe coleus wants better irrigation than I had previously provided. I also love the density of the coleus. Some plants respond really well to more of their own kind or companion plants. For years, I kept aloe in my home & rarely found much growth. A few years ago I changed some key practices. I re-potted the aloe less frequently. I'd heard that they like somewhat tight root balls. I also made sure I had two aloe plants from the same cutting growing near each other. I have no idea if this is the key factor or if it's due to less frequent re-potting, but those aloe are growing like gang busters. One last change? I rarely water. When it rains and the temperature is above 50 degrees I put the plants outside to soak. If it rains a ton, I only do this once in a month's span.
|Kevin took this photo when I cut my hair. Ignore the hairs & focus on the aloe twins. Despite our house being fairly dim, they're happy & thriving.|
Plants are migrating with people. Plants that are considered native to the Delaware Valley region can be traced back to many different parts of the world. I'm not saying this to criticize or laud the practice-- it just is. What's interesting to me is paying attention when we find a plant really happy.
I'm so glad that Lauren took me up on creating a coleus border for our blog. Every time I see it, I think of that border between a human hand and a plant's own determination in finding water, light, and health. I think of functional farms with the jungle just beyond.