As My Houseplants Lay Dying

You know you’re getting old when you say things like, “Back when I was in college…” Usually with a nostalgic tone of voice, like when my friend KJoy was visiting and we reminisced about the amazing cream of cajun carrot soup we used to eat at this restaurant where we worked, Mulberry Street Pizzeria (in San Rafael. Smith Ranch Road. Go ye forth and try the soup).

KJoy: We used to eat so much of that soup!

Me: And the french bread! We’d have at least five pieces of it, which is like half a loaf, and just dip it in the soup…it’s amazing we didn’t gain fifty pounds.

KJoy: That’s because we were nineteen.

(To my nineteen-year-old self: ENJOY THAT METABOLISM WHILE IT LASTS, SISTA.)

But this post isn’t about metabolism. It’s about houseplants. And how, back when I was in college, I loved them and I could grow them and keep them and they were just lovely little points of green in my life. I even talked to them because I read somewhere that it helped them thrive. Of course, back when I was in college, I was in the Bay Area, and not in the Central Valley, which is basically a hair dryer and not conducive to growing much except cacti and tomatoes. When I moved back to the Hair Dryer, all my favorite plants died. I’ve replaced them with a few others, but now they’ve gotta compete with kids.

Apparently in my house it’s survival of the whiners, and guess what: houseplants don’t whine.

I no longer talk to my houseplants, but I think they are talking to me. Their message is loud and clear.


  1. KC Held · September 5, 2012

    I’m totally turning you in.

    • Beth Hull · September 5, 2012

      At the very least, you should call Houseplants Protective Services. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. PB Rippey · September 5, 2012

    My green thumb left with my pregnancy glow. I miss both. But I do have fun showing my son how to plant seeds.

    • Beth Hull · September 5, 2012

      We love planting seeds, too! Z has quite a gift for it.

      Someday, maybe when Z and Mav have gone off to college, I’ll try to rekindle the plant magic.

  3. readingisdelicious · September 9, 2012

    Oh dear, your poor plants! D: Although this looks very similar to my house while growing up. My mom loves plants, but is pretty awful with them.

    • Beth Hull · September 9, 2012

      I felt so sorry for them after writing that post, that I went ahead and gave them all water. Which kind of makes me think I’m prolonging their deaths, but at least they won’t be thirsty!

  4. Vic · September 30, 2012

    I’ve honestly never tried house plants…yet. This is my most successful year with the plants on my front porch, but I’m waiting until the boys are quite a bit older before I enter into the indoor plant section of OSH. Plus I would need someplace to PUT the darn things…still haven’t figured out where that could happen in my limited-direct-sunlight house. I say ditch the pitiful plants for plastic & give those whine…er….lovely cherubs of yours a big fat kiss ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Hull · October 1, 2012

      Hee hee. Those indoor plants are a big commitment when there are kids to take care of, too.

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