Outdoors in

I brought Mama this Pineapple Lilly as an early birthday gift, August 2014.

I brought Mama this Pineapple Lilly as an early birthday gift, August 2014.

“Bring the outdoors in. Plants make for a happy home.”Mr Jason Grant

There were a lot of ways my mother created a happy home for us, and one of them was the way she loved plants, indoors and out.  She was often joked about spoken of in regard to her composting and organic vegetable gardening, but she always liked plants of all kinds.  The longest words in her vocabulary that I can remember were those that were the names of plants.

I grew up hearing about (and enjoying the beauty of) azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, and magnolias, to name just a few, but the names for the indoor plants were even more exotic: dieffenbachia, schefflera, caladiums, and others I can’t quite remember.  She sent me off to college with coleus and philodendron to adorn my dorm room and keep the air fresh.  While I was never as good at tending plants as she was, I did find that the plants added a note of cheer to brighten my days.

Recently we were able to make a quick trip to Atlanta, so I took the opportunity to give Mama an early birthday present I can’t usually manage because of the distance: a nice new houseplant that has the potential to live outdoors, if she decides to transplant it.  I chose one I had never seen before, but instantly liked: the pineapple lily pictured above.  I thought the purple color and unusual blooms would be a novelty among her other growing things.

Do you keep houseplants?  If so, what are your favorites?  If not, adding a plant to your life might be a great way to brighten your home and improve your health.  It may sound wacky, but a number of studies suggest there are measurable benefits in spending time with greenery, including happier moods and enhanced creativity.

Happy Birthday today to my mother, who taught me a lot about how to help all kinds of living things grow!

One year ago today:

A combination

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    One of my college housemates had a philodendron so large that it grew from the floor across the mantle over the fireplace and was trained up over the window curtain rods, encircling half of her room. She bequeathed it to me when she graduated before me, and I moved into her former room. It was a wonderful room; a four-season porch with a fireplace in a big old house with high ceilings. I kept it for some years after leaving Michigan Tech, but eventually my children grew and the plant diminished. I wonder, if I’d taken cuttings, might I still have some of that old plant?

    • Probably you would. I used to kill all sorts of plants, but had great luck with the hardy philodendron. And if memory serves me, it was easy to grow from cuttings. Wish you lived closer so I could give you my cuttings from the schefflera and peace lily that keep producing new plants! How on earth did you get so lucky as to have such a cool dorm room? All mine were the institutionally bland variety. Made it easier to want to graduate, though. 🙂

      • I love that it “made it easier to want to graduate”! HA
        We actually rented a house, off campus. (I probably should have stayed in the bland dorm and possibly graduated sooner!)
        I do have a schefflera from that era, but it has been near death several times through history, so what’s left of it is about the size one would buy at a store.

        • I tried to live off campus, but my school (in that era) wouldn’t allow it unless my doctor said I needed to do so. And in a remarkable show of ethics, he was one who refused to sell his signature…he told me to “tough it out,” that it would be good for my character. 😀 Which I suppose it was. I did come to be glad that I was forced to live in that dorm. Good things came of it. My relationship with Jeff, probabaly, among many others…so it all works out, I guess.

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