Recently, I made a bold career move. After more than thirty years as a writer, I decided to move my desk from a dark corner in the dining room to in front of a bright window at the back of house. It only seemed fitting that as a garden writer, I take advantage of the natural light and adorn my new home office with houseplants.
Searching For the Right Houseplant
Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of claiming an entire room for a home office. As I would be sharing space in a bedroom, downsizing my desk was necessary. I quickly realized I only had room for one plant.
Knowing this had to be a special plant, I did something I rarely do. I decided to do my research first and not impulsively buy the first plant which caught my fancy. As I set up my new desk, I began imagining what type of plant I wanted.
Would it be tall and thin? Short and bushy? Did I want a flowering plant or something with attractive foliage. How about one of the rare and unusual houseplants I had written about over the years? Then it hit me.
The decor in the bedroom consisted of a pink and sage green quilt-patterned comforter and plain sage green curtains. A pink houseplant would provide the perfect accent for the corner of my desk. As I didn’t want to deal with spent flowers falling on my work surface, I began an internet search for a foliage plant with pink leaves.
When I pulled up a variegated Pink Princess philodendron, I knew my search had ended. Philodendrons are perfect plants for the office. They thrive in low light, require minimal watering and very little attention. I was about to hit the “Add to Cart” button, when I saw the price for my dream plant.
I was shocked. These adorable little houseplants were selling for $89.99. I decided to check out a few more websites only to discover ninety dollars was the market price for a 4” (10 cm.) potted pink philodendron.
Now I need to explain that I’m not the best with houseplants. For the most part, the plants I grow outdoors seem to thrive on the water Mother Nature provides. In dry times and when first transplanting seedling vegetable and flower plants, I water. But this is rarely more than short term care.
Houseplants require me to be on top of their watering needs for the lifetime of the plant. Yet, things happen. I get distracted and the next thing I know, my houseplant is wilted or worse. Thus, paying big bucks for a plant that may or may not live long enough to need repotting just doesn’t seem like a wise financial decision for me.
Somewhat disillusioned, I continued my search for a houseplant with pink and green leaves. Nothing seem right, so I did what I usually do when I’m feeling frustrated. I went shopping. I had some errands to run, and I figured I could swing by the plant department and take a look.
I knew when I saw it that it was perfect for the corner of my desk. But it wasn’t a plant, it was a planter. The sage green ceramic dog planter had soulful eyes and a space to hold a round 4” pot. I could easily change houseplants in and out according to the season or even my mood. More importantly, it wouldn’t matter if I killed an inexpensive plant. It could be easily replaced.
Should the price come down, perhaps someday I will purchase a variegated pink philodendron. But for now, it doesn’t matter if I’m struggling to find the perfect word or experiencing a full-blown episode of writer’s block. When I look up from my laptop and see the refreshing and peaceful sage green color of my adorable doggie planter, I smile.
Plus, I discovered an additional perk. By looking at the planter several times a day, I can see when the plant needs water. And guess what? I haven’t killed it yet!