A brief selection of thoughts and poetry produced and collected by author Avery Chipman
— dedicated to those who find joy in surrounding themselves with green.
materials + knowledge
To create a beautiful green space within your home, there
are a few tools required. Having different sizes and shapes
of planters, types of soil, water, and patience will allow
you to plant many types of seeds and watch them grow.
It is important to be aware of the amount of sunlight and water
different species of plants require. Some plants need a lot of care
and attention while others are much more hardy and require
very little maintenance. Some plants will need to be moved
to larger pots over time as they grow, or others will produce
duplicates that will need to be transplanted to their own pots.
If there are too many roots in one pot, the plants will become
overcrowded and die because of a lack of available nutrients.
The most important thing is to be aware of your plants and
notice when they are not looking their best so that you can
respond by either adjusting their sunlight or watering schedule,
or move them to a larger pot so that they will be able to flourish.
how are you f eeling?
Studies have shown that the by being around
houseplants, your blood pressure will likely lower, your
anxiety will lessen, and your overall wellbeing will
improve. There are many reported health benefits to
keeping houseplants, but many people find that they also
experience emotional benefits from their plants. Many
people feel generally calmer, more relaxed, and happier
when they find themselves in the presence of plants.
Specific houseplants that are mentioned in studies for
contributing to health benefits include: golden pothos,
arrowhead vine, philodendron, snake plants and peace
lillies. All plants will help purify the air in their space
and can be a positive distraction or psychologically
beneficial responsibility to allow the users of a space
to feel that they are doing something good and helpful
by caring for and being mindful of a living thing.
My houseplants, for me
personally, bring a sense
of calm, tranquility, and
serenity that I don’t find
in other environments and
spaces. Their waxy, twisted
leaves and stems stand
and sway with the sun and
there is a particular zen
in feeling their happiness.
When I water them, I feel
pleased and important to
be tending to them and
making them happy. Their
lives are simple and gentle
and it brings me joy to take
part in their wellbeing.
My relationship to plants becomes closer
and closer. They make me quiet; I like to
be in their company.
Plants exist in the weather and light rays
that surround them—waving in the wind,
shimmering in the sunlight. I am always
puzzling over how to draw such things.
There has, in the last
few years particularly,
been a resurgence
of people keeping
numbers say that it is a
growing trend among
millennials. Why is it
that America’s youngest
adult generation is
interested in keeping
houseplants, when the
last resurgence was in
the 70s amid Watergate
and the Vietnam War?
Some believe keeping
plants becomes popular
again while we, as a
culture, hunker down
and need to feel
comfort. Are millennials
from the increasingly
stressful housing market
job outlooks, and the
loan debt mountain?
Perhaps. Others say that
millennials are in it for
moment. But whatever
it is, something certainly
is driving America’s
millennials to bring
It is a small plant
delicately branched and
to a point, each branch
and the peak a wire for
green pods, blind lanterns
starting upward from
the stalk each way to
a pair of prickly edged blue
flowerets: it is her regard,
a little plant without leaves,
a finished thing guarding
its secret. Blue eyes—
but there are twenty looks
in one, alike as forty flowers
on twenty stems—Blue eyes
a little closed upon a wish
achieved and half lost again,
stemming back, garlanded
with green sacks of
satisfaction gone to seed,
back to a straight stem—if
one looks into you, trumpets—!
No. It is the pale hollow of
desire itself counting
over and over the moneys of
a stale achievement. Three
small lavender imploring tips
below and above them two
slender colored arrows
of disdain with anthers
between them and
at the edge of the goblet
a white lip, to drink from—!
And summer lifts her look
forty times over, forty times
I have a basil plant
with some lovely, emerald leaves
crowning 3 strong, thick columns
in an off-white, ceramic pot.
Decorated with delicate foliage,
in rust and green,
how it glows in the sunshine
on the tiled kitchen window sill.
It is a Small Plant
William Carlos Williams
My sister moved work buildings in 2014 to an open office
where she had window access. She purchased a small
fittonia and named him Leafy. She kept Leafy happy
and green as she moved up through the company and
eventually they moved into a private office. Leafy sat on
her desk for several years until a fateful summer when my
sister took a week’s vacation and forgot to take Leafy home
or ask someone to water him. When she returned from her
vacation, relaxed and energized, she found Leafy shriveled
and dead on her desk. Forced to let him go as there was
no reviving him, Leafy hit the garbage can. So long, Leafy.
Lots of people assume that houseplants are
either finicky and very difficult to maintain,
or require a lot of daily effort and work.
There are some plants that can need a little
more maintenance than others, but there are
several varieties of plants that require almost
no care except the occasional watering and
checkup, and are great for beginners because
they are so forgiving. All it takes to start
your own indoor garden is a brief inspection
of your plants’ health every couple of days, a
little water, a little patience, and some hope.