Saturday, March 16, 2013

Recovering: My first Indoor Gardening attempt

The last time I visited my mum, she sent me home with a clipping of fresh mint for me to try potting and growing as an indoor plant.  I clearly remember her saying that mint is a 'hardy' plant, so it should survive me not being a green thumb in the slightest.

Well, that visit was about a month or so ago (she lives a nine hour drive away, so I can't just pop around to visit whenever I feel like it).  And, the poor mint plant has had plenty of ups and downs with which to contend with under my inexpert indoor gardening efforts; and at one point, about two weeks ago, it almost died.  What started out as two stems, with lots of little buds ready to sprout into leaves or new branches, has now dwindled to just one branch.  But, as least that one branch has recovered and now grown significantly and the leaves which were once babies have grown almost to full size.

The day I got it home and potted it into its new glass home.
It's new home in the kitchen window

Each morning as I make my morning cuppa and breakfast, I watch as the baby branch reaches in an easterly direction from its south-facing window to take in as much of the diffused sunlight as it can gain from its kitchen sill position.  Tonight though, I turned the fluorescent lights on while I was making a cup of herbal tea until I can go and pick my daughter up from the party she went off to.  I noticed as I was waiting for the kettle to boil, that my cat needed a top up of food and fresh water, so I attended to that and finished off pottering to allow the just boiled water to cool slightly now that I had missed turning the kettle off before it boiled.  When I returned to pour the water, the mint plant caught my eye.

The leaves had turned in the time I had walked away and come back again.  They were no longer enjoying the breeze from the slight ajar window, capturing some moonlight, and were now fully facing me and sitting higher, trying to bask under the direct gaze of the fluorescent lighting above.

I carried my tea and turned the kitchen light off as I left, and then sat down on the lounge in the living room to enjoy my cup of herbal tea.  Once finished, I returned to the kitchen but didn't turn the light on, because I know my way around in the dark.  Under the glow of the diffused living room light and the strong moonlight coming in through my cafe curtaining, I was able to see that the mint plant stem was turning back to face the moonlight again, now that it was back in darkness.

I've always known that plants are living things, but to see 'nature' up this close tonight struck just how amazing plant life can be.  I'm hoping that my poor little mint plant forgives my amateurish attempt to let it grow into something more befittingly spectacular: I will endeavour to keep remembering to water it a little each day, so it never again has to droop or shut down some of its beauty in order to try to keep itself alive.

Four weeks later: some of it died,

but now the mint plant is in recovering mode

And, the leaves have turned to the fluorescent light

Grow little mint plant, grow.  Grow so that I may prune your aromatic leaves to include in some home-cooked meals and so you may double your growth because you adore these regular pruning's. I'm trying extremely hard to be the best 'mother' you can have, despite my not possessing the necessary skills to ensure your survival.

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