On Writing

Prompt 10 – All About House Plants & Yin Link

Book: All About House Plants – Their Selection, Culture and Propagation, and How Best To Use Them for Decorative Effect © 1952
Author: Montague Free, staff horticulturist of the Home Garden
Page 10, line 10
Genre: Non-fiction

“Vines will be desirable to frame the window.”

Vines are easy to grow and hard to kill. At least, that’s been my experience. I’ve checked, and there are no green thumbs on my hands. No green fingers at all. And I’ve gotten good at growing vines. In fact, I’ve been growing the same vines for over ten years. Their shoots crawl over my walls, across the arch in our dining room and around the window over the sink in the kitchen. Some of the vines have small brown suckers that stick to the wall with a clear liquid. I admire the way the vine holds on.

The orchid on the window sill is experiencing a different fate. Gifted for a birthday, her white, vagina-esque flowers, once open and inviting, have withered and fallen to mingle with the dog hair and dead flies. It seems I can remember to water a vine once a week, but not drop two ice cubes in the witchy roots of an orchid. It’s possible that the green in the vines and the sheer space they inhabit are stronger reminders of life than a pretty flower.

Plants are a necessary family member. It is important to have living things in the family home besides the humans and animals (arachnids are acceptable depending on the size, but insects and rodents are typically unwelcome). Plants remind us that our relationship with nature is vital. A room with a plant in it, especially a vine, draws the eye and calls the brain to pause for a moment of appreciation. A flower will do the same, provided you can keep this type of plant alive. Having said this, a vase of fresh flowers as a centrepiece on the dining room table or a few blooms of lavender in a jar on the bedside table offer another kind of mental pause that brings joy and consideration to scent and colour, as well as an overall feeling of comfort.

Plants have long since been a part of the human experience. Our histories weave in and out of direct contact with nature, as some of our ‘where-did-we-come-from’ stories begin in lush gardens and frozen tundra – both offering its own kind of special plant life. The vine is a powerful metaphor for connection, longevity, resilience and dedicated growth.

I tried to find information on the author, Montague Free. This is all I could find:

Free, Montague was born on December 12, 1885 in Cambridge, England. Son of Samuel and Agnes (Day) Free. Education. Certificate Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 1912 …
Education: Certificate Royal Botanic Gardens

Thank you, Emmy, for today’s prompt!


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