Who Is Polly Unfurled?

There is this feeling, rare as hens teeth, that in my 54 years has happened but just a few times. Moments when you are doing something, starting something, creating something, collecting something, and regardless of how hard it is, or strange, or daft it may seem to others, for you it is certain. This thing is something you must do, need to do, and you are compelled, sometimes dragged, forward through it, to it, for it, with it, owning it, doing it, desire it deep inside, no hesitation, and the bliss of that certainty is profound.

In all the things that shall not be named, all that transpired the last couple of years, halfway through something shifted. I shifted? The world shifted? I don’t know, but towards the end of winter, into spring, this malaise had grown, and I wallowed. Almost drowned, I suppose.

So what did I do? What could I do? Should I do? I think my last post, or previous to that one maybe, was about my solution, and so it continued, full speed ahead.

Neon Pothos on antique wicker inlay stand.
Neon Pothos

Oh, it did. One, after the other, lured me, enticed me, next door at the ValuMart, or online, they had me at hello.

Well, so, it became apparent I needed a strategy for controlling my wild abandon, with a purchasing mandate – to learn and gain knowledge – and so decided first off to concentrate on cheaper more common varieties.

One Philodendron ‘Prince of Orange, A ZZ (well, 2, I also had to get the Raven).

Next, a Neon Pothos, I already had a Golden variety.

I already had an Alocasia Polly, 4 from babies from that one I wrote about, the one that started all this, plus one that came in an order by mistake. And at the beginning of summer, I found an Alocasia Stingray at the grocery store for $5. Woot Woot.

Also two Aglaonema, a Siam Aurora and a Spring Snow – but the Siam’s in my ICU area in water, but may go into LECA soon.

Now, I could go on, but I will not bore you with a listing of them all like some biblical Jethro begot, but according to this plant diary app, I have 52. Needless to say, I now have a wee jungle.

Parlour Palm
Parlour Palm

Now I often find myself watching light cross the walls through the day, drinking tea, getting ready for when I will not have time to fuss about. Soon, soon, I pray.

Noting down this and that, using this plant diary app called Plantnote has helped organize it all. It does cool stuff like lets me look back at my watering schedule to see if I’ve maybe under watered, overwatered, or for months down the road to document the frequency. Lets me keep track of who wants what, and I take pics at various times to document changes. Ya know, getting to know my new charges, as they go into winter and need a little less – to know them is to love them, don’t ya know.

Well, and having a routine, something to inspire me, keep me busy, learning, doing, is important.

For now, my world is both small, and infinite, if that makes any sense. Lately I’ve been collecting rainwater from the downspout outside my door, some for now, and a stock pile of four 4L jugs more for later. Reading about what nutrient does what, how hydroponics works, what stuff can you grow well in pretty glass vessels of water, stuff like that. Experimenting.

Golden Pothos
Golden Pothos, also called Devil’s Ivy

Taking photos all the while.

Breathing life back into this undernourished soul.

They inspire me, do plants, in so many ways. Sure, some I paid more than I should have, and some were a steal, but each is beautiful, to me, and just right for here, or there, in that light, in that spot. Each thing they do I note in my app, like a meditation, a moment of now, when there is only this living thing and me.

I watch them. Their ways, their means, their choices, their habits. I watch their leaves turn to the light, see what they like, don’t like, watch their roots in glass vessels grow.

I am enchanted, in awe, with my Alocasia Stingrays size, as it stretches for the meagre light I provide. Situated as close to the best I can do, a North window with a cheap Amazon light overhead, and still popping out leaf after leaf. I beg him to stop, please, I have so little room for his gregarious will to grow; in competition with Fred for real estate in front of that North light, hence his own arm of light, as he shall not win that battle.

Intention, patience, wisdom, hope, peace, faith, they have nurtured within me over these solitary months.

I’ve learned about substrate, instead of just ‘soil’. I’ve learned about the quality of light, and how to increase it. Of humidity, and how to get more of it. Of this and that, creating my very own Bohemian jungle habitat.

It was almost a revelation, strangely. Here is this thing I love, but I had convinced myself I couldn’t do it. Until this year I never thought about a woodland jungley garden inside. I mean, I had potted plants, but with a North light and no money for whatever I would need, I thought I couldn’t. Ya, I was wrong. So, this spring when I did my taxes, I invested in my future, with all the things I never thought I could have. Or need.

With light, water, air, certain nutrients, and a place to grow, they thrive. And, it doesn’t have to cost the moon and back, I learned, if I’d only just tried, or looked. Just, em, a matter of strategic planning, I suppose – budgetary, and otherwise.

Golden Pothos in wicker basket on shelf
Golden Pothos in LECA

Anywho, I question if I would ever write again this year, you know. If I could justify this blog, if I wasn’t going to write, and what then? Maybe I still do a bit, but if I actually publish this, then it’s a start, so there’s that.

I’m not sure what Temenos Journal is, really. It’s been many things, I guess, as it is a reflection of me. Like that app for my plants, much the same, just jotting down this and that, for posterity, you know.

So, from Pika to plants, am I.

Syngonium podophyllum ‘Pink Spot’ 💘

[more photos of my bohemian jungle on Instagram @polly_unfurled]

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