The room is cozy, with cushy overstuffed furniture, warm colors that invite you to stay, an eclectic clutter that draws the eyes seeking out all the hidden treasures – a ceramic bird here, a treasured book there, an oversized ceramic mug that would fit perfectly in your hands. But that isn’t the magic, although it is evident that magic does live there. The magic is found hanging around the room, the bright splashes of green, alive and vibrant. Ferns, with their feathery soft leaves; succulents that are waxy and shine, plants that I can’t hope to identify or recognize adorn the room with their vitality, giving the room and the house and the inhabitants a feeling of enchantment.
When I was little girl, my mom took me to visit one of her friends. We lived in the Detroit suburbs, a landscape of factory houses that sprang up in the 1950s, cookie cutter homes, with their postage stamp sized yards and chain link fences, not there is anything wrong with this landscape, but where we went was not like a place I had been. It seemed charmed and slightly wild, out in the country, a house made of wood and glass and plants and macrame (it was the late 70s). It was earthy, funky, homey.
Recently I was reminded of this house, that feeling. My friend and I were talking about how a mutual friend of ours house had this same feeling, this feeling of comfort, peace. The feeling that we were tucked away in some enchanted glen, and we tried to put our fingers on just where that magical spirit came from. The plants, the people, the design, the decor, where and how can we gather this magic for ourselves, light up our own house, touch that piece of our soul. We decided that the enchantment sprang from the kingdom of plants strewn about the house, willy nilly.
So in my quest to replicate this warm, cozy, wildness, this feeling of a wonderland, I made a few new plant friends. I read that plants do better when you name them and talk to them, so I did that too. I have to say I am pretty happy with my new plants, although I haven’t quite achieved the level of magic that I am hoping for. I think part of me is yearning for springtime, and the sprouting of new life, for the blossoms to emerge like white snow on our apple tree, for the roses to bloom, for the flowers to burst to the surface. For now, I will be content with my three indoor houseplants – Old Ironsides, who lives in my dining room, Charlotte with her pink striped green leaves, and Seamoss ~ like Seamus, but “moss” instead of “mus”, because well, Irish moss, who currently hangs in our shower. My little seedlings have sprouted too – it always brings a smile to my face to see them in the morning, bright green against the grayness that is outside these days. One day they will be bunny tail grass and chives, but for now they are just bright green babies in my kitchen.
I have spring in my soul these days, green bursting, waiting for the sunshine. I can’t wait to get outside and start planting. I also have a great plan for a sensory garden for the boy I can’t wait to get started on!