Indoor Plants – Enjoying the Process

In my personal life, I have been working on enjoying the process of things, instead of the final outcome. There is no where to get to, and so I am practicing paying attention to where I spend my free time, what personal projects and chores give me joy, and then enjoying how it all unfolds. One thing I love is growing things both inside and outside.

This Saturday I headed over to the drug store for some essentials and I passed an artificial succulent sale along one aisle….  It got me thinking, and I wanted to share the message with you. Consider when you buy things like plastic succulents or artificial plants you are only allowing yourself the enjoyment of one aspect of the living plant experience – just the way it looks. Well, you can’t actually duplicate exactly how it looks. The texture, glow and touch in a living plant can’t be duplicated.

Succulents in pots

Artificial succulents in pots at the drug store – tempting at this price aren’t they? They look so real in the photo!

But what else do you miss by getting a non living plant substitute? You miss the joy of caring for it and the pride from knowing your care kept it alive. You miss the sheer happiness when it blooms – sometimes to your surprise! You miss the natural air purifying of the plant – and instead you are introducing more plastic in your environment.  Your live plants won’t collect dust like it’s imposter friends either. Last, you miss the invisible, intangible energy of a living thing.

There are so many life lessons plants teach you. I have learned so many. My indoor plants have shared life events, holidays, and been part of my daily experience for years. I remember when I got each them.  Some were gifts and some where acquired on special occasions.   As a matter of fact the first plant I ever purchased in my first place is still with me.  She was a great first plant, a pothos, or devil’s ivy.  In hindsight it is easy to see why she made it.  She is an easy to care for plant.  She was forgiving when I inadvertently made mistakes.  She eventually turned from white and green variegated leaves to a dark green – a sign of maturity and perhaps less light in the shelf she calls home. She isn’t as pretty as she once was in color, but heck neither am I!  I have a lot of plants in my home these days. My plants and I have all grown, had hardships, and losses.

I have made adorable succulent gardens for myself, friends and clients.  I have propagated countless plants and succulents for myself and friends.  I have planted in cool containers from second hand shops, candle containers, old pottery, and tea cups. I have grown bulbs like amaryllis, tulips, paperwhites and hyacinths in adorable glass containers for my personal home as well as Magazine photoshoots in the springtime.  I bring in cut flowers frequently from my yard 3 out of 4 seasons of the year.  It is a creative endeavor I am convinced would bring a lot of people joy!

I have clients sometimes tell me they only want artificial plants for their interior design project.  They explain they can’t keep anything alive or they don’t want the responsibility.  I think they are missing out on a valuable aspect of the joy of home and I often ask them to reconsider.  Artificial plants are okay in your home of course – just consider some living things too.

Once you start with a live plant or two you might find that you love the process like me. Enjoy the lessons and the experience. You will get more out of it than you give!

Succulent design garden

A succulent garden and paperwhites artfully displayed on the family room coffee table at Whimsical Farmhouse

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Angela Todd Studios For Custom Furnishings

Angela Todd

Owner & Principal Designer

Angela is the principal designer at her boutique interior design firm in Portland, Oregon. She is known for creating memorable backdrops that tell the story of fascinating and intricate lives.

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