Last month I scribed the post ‘Not of this time’, found here, in which I tried to describe the my internal feelings of being from an earlier era and how this, and other factors has led to both mine and G’s interest with some of the aspects of the Victorian era. I briefly described our desire to bring a ‘Victorian’ feel to our small abode as we proceed to make it and its garden our little haven. As with many of us this is destined to be a long process, to be carried out as and when a small budget and very little spare time dictates.
But sometimes a little something falls into place that just gives a tiny step towards the long term goal. Take the other day, we had taken in a parcel in for neighbours whilst they were away over the weekend. I called around to drop it off and obviously stayed for the compulsory hot drink and catch-up. I noticed they owned a particular plant in their porch that was a throw back to my childhood and I pinched (after asking damnit, oh you people!) a couple of cuttings to grow on for myself. The particular plant in question?....
Yep a Spider plant, it was one of those plants that seemed to be in everybody’s household back in the day. Its popularity was probably due to the fact it was as damn near as indestructible a houseplant as you could get then, rivalled probably only by the Aspidistra in its toughness. It popularity has waned over years but it is still a very versatile and reliable houseplant and can add a touch of greenery to most rooms.
The plant was first introduced to the shores of this country from darkest southern Africa by those plant hunting Victorians, the pesky blighters. In its native land it can be found as ground cover within several different situations. The fact that it once was found in many a Victorian home makes it an ideal candidate for what we would like to introduce into our own home.
It has several commonly found variations of leaf colour:- green with an inner white strip, green with outer white strips and all green. Not only does the plant’s foliage make for attractive viewing but the plant may also produce clusters of small, creamy white flowers. It does not depend though upon the flowers being fertilised for reproduction as it produces masses of small plantlets upon runners that hang downwards from the pot allowing the plant to be utilised in a hanging situation. These small plantlets are where the plant gets its common name from as they are said to resemble spiders hanging down on their silken threads. Though perhaps a little bit of poetic license has been used here as the runners are a tad thicker than a spiders silken thread and they’re the weirdest looking spiders that I have ever seen m’thinks.
As I mentioned earlier, a Spider plant is a tough little bugger and is very undemanding in its care. Once established it may tolerate all but the lowest and the brightest of light levels and will survive forgetfulness in watering to the extreme. Its only probably weakness in general care is that it does like being overwatered and requires a reasonably well draining substrate. They are a relatively disease free plant with their most common ailments coming from overwatering which may lead to the roots rotting away and over fertilisation which can cause the leaves to ‘burn’ and die off leaving a papery brown remnant.
Another benefit of giving a home to a Spider plant is that studies have found them to be very effective at absorbing airborne pollutants. So not only do they improve the look & feel of a room, bring in a little nature, produce lots of mini plants to give as gifts, are easy to care for they also improve your air quality, hell it’s a no brainer m’thinks.
So the very first, albeit very small, step has been taken to enhance our little abode and bring to us that peaceful refuge that we both so need. Just need to find a suitable pot for the bloody thing now.....