Houseplants – An Investment in Health

I have recently been rebuilding my repertoire of house plants. We had a few in the house but they were just ones I had saved from demise at the hands of others. Some people do struggle with house plants for various reasons. I have found success by ignoring them (water wise) until they are on the edge of drooping. They also get the occasional cool temperature shower – it keeps the dust off them. This works for a majority and sems to keep them thriving.

My interest in house plants has always been aesthetic but more recently it has become a little health oriented. I read an article someone shared on facebook and did a bit of research. Certain species filter certain particles from the air, some plants filter more than others. So my choices have become more than just eye pleasing their presents is selected not only for looks but also for filtering. Bonus!

I have obtained from the list a few old favorites –

  • Boston Fern x3
  • Devil’s Ivy
  • Peace Lilly
  • Dracaena

Still others I want to add to my home are a Snake Plant (Mother-in-Law’s Tongue), Aloe Vera, Spider plant and Heart-leaf Philodendron.  If we had a large lovely house with lots of space I would include a Weeping Fig tree and some Bamboo but alas my other half is not ready to move in to the shed.

Below are a few of website from a google search. As with any research I recommend reading a variety of sources (more than just two) to get a broader outlook on the information you are seeking.

Houseplants That Clean Air

Mother Nature Network – A Breathe of Fresh Air

NASA Clean Air Study

My ultimate goal is to have one or two different plants in each bedroom as well as a variety in the kitchen and living room. Love having a little nature indoors.

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Garden Pests

Last year was our first year with this garden. It was as much a success as it was a loss. We harvested lots but also lost alot to slugs, snails,  cabbage butterflies ( those white flying menaces) and the like.

This year we have started nightly slug and snail hunts.  After sundown one or both of us will go out armed with our containers of salt,  collect and melt the slimey things. It is not a fast process.

DSC_0474It takes time to lift leaves and move planters etc,  pluck them up and salt them. They love cabbage and peas and spinach, anything with smooth leaves.  Rhubarb is a place they like to hide and nibble before heading out. Thank goodness they don’t like things like tomato cucumber and squash or I would have to give up my day job.

We started hunting them as soon as the weather warmed a little ( middle of March)  and have not seen a single night where there wasn’t at least 3 or four and have gotten up to two dozen on warm wet nights. Remember to look for the little bitty ones too – they are harder to find but can do as much damage as they grow.

It has been a worthwhile pursuit. My cabbages last year, at this level of growth, were beginning to look like lace. The heads were less whole heads and more burrows for their pleasure. This year my cabbage look nice and happy so for them now it will be the great cabbage moth watch ( although I haven’t seen but two earlier in the season).

I always plant more than I can eat, can, dry or freeze. I like to be able to share with my neighbors, coworkers and friends. So last year we had plenty for ourselves even with the loses but this year I am planning to have enough to share.

In Search of the Strange. London

We have been to London many times and have seen most of the regular touristy things. This current trip to London to show my family a little of this magnificent city has lasted three days.

The first two days were the touristy spots and a bit of shopping for the kids but today – we the grandparent generation – took the initiative. We paid for all day tickets on the BigBus tour for the young’uns and we went looking for a little museum or two that is of interest. Weird and Strange always top the ‘Interest’ list and we struck pay dirt not far from Euston Station.

The Wellcome Collection

The Grant Museum of Zoology

Both of the above small museums are free to the public and around the corner from each other. The Wellcome Collection is both modern and interesting in the their multiple exhibits. The Grant Museum is full of specimens of bone and in bottles. Another one we visited a couple years back s the Hunterian Museum in Holburn – this museum is extensive in the specimen displays both human and animal.

Found a London Gem

Yesterday on the way back from Camden Market (via the canal) to King’s Cross Station we came across an easily missed gem of nature. 
The Camley Street Natural Park (part of the London Wildlife trust) is like a little oasis in a sea of asphalt and cement.

I am not good at judging land areas but it is a few acres along the canal. Lots of benches to sit and relax under the trees. Places for young ones to hunt wild animal (bugs) and do activities. Lovely rough and natural. Even saw a turtle sunning himself on a patch of reeds.

If I lived nearby it here in Greater London I would make it a regular spot for relaxing with nature.

The New Shadow Selfie

DSC_0458 (2)   I am a bit camera shy, mainly because I always seem to screw up my face as the shutter opens. When I do selfies, I am identified as the head topped with white hair because I generally make sure only the top of my head is included.

Well we were at a steampunk weekend market in North Yorkshire and I discovered a new fashion selfie I feel totally comfortable with. The sun was out and my shadow gave a well set outline of myself. It was quiet the hit on Facebook with friends and family. I think they were tired of seeing just the top of my head in my selfies.

My Sanctuary

Sometimes we must adjust our expectations. Where we might like our natural sanctuary to be a forest, a meadow, nature in its most natural and wild state, it is not always available when needed.

My gardens ( front and back) are my ( nature) sanctuary. My expectations changed but in no way have lowered. They may have even raised.  The pleasure of growing from seed, nurturing, maturing and then harvesting is heavenly for my heart, soul and spirit.

Early Dawn ‘Pink’ Rainbow

APinkRainbow

I am not sure if I have ever seen a rainbow of only one color.
Over the six or seven months we spent living in a caravan between homes, I was privy to this lovely pink rainbow. This was taken in late August 2015.

I do miss being an early riser (something my job hours now will not afford me – but I have adjusted well enough). I miss the quiet, watching the sunrise. Hearing the bird song with pleasure (rather than swearing at the little morning peeps).

I am sure I will sometime in the future again find my early mornings( 4am is a great time to be awake), to great the day, to sing her in in my heart and my imagination. Mornings are amazing.