Saturday, July 23, 2011

Junque Yard - things growing in odd places

Earlier this week it was mentioned by an on-line friend that while she has great success with her outside garden, it's nearly impossible for her to keep a houseplant alive. I had to concur with her. I have extreme difficulty with houseplants myself. I take full credit for forgetting to water them, partial credit for owning a house that lets in very little sunlight (what the heck was I thinking?), and only survivor's guilt credit for the way my cats like to nibble on them. All of which creates a hostile environment inside for any houseplant.

My one exception to keeping an inside plant alive is a peace lily that refuses to succumb. I joke that every winter it starts its own unheard mantra: "Just 3 more months till she puts me outside for the summer." "Just 2 more months until she puts me outside for the summer.." the poor thing.

I brought it home from work about 3 years ago, maybe 4 now. It was located in the lobby, where it was over-watered religiously by another employee. It started to get root rot. It also had an infestation of little white bugs. I have no idea how this could be, as it was the only live plant in the area, and no where for those bugs to come from or go to. Anyway, it was on it's way toward dying, so I took it home to try and save it. I re-potted the poor thing, exchanging all it's soil for fresh, drying the roots and bulb by giving them an hour in the sun first.  Then I left it outside until the weather turned too cool. Peace lilies prefer low light, so I figured it would do fine in the house, seeing as that's all I had anyway. It's spot of choice is in my living room picture window, however, that is also the spot of choice for my favorite plant muncher, Celeste. She's a long haired white siamese mix with angelic looks, but is really the devil in disguise. She nibbles the leaves, she digs in its dirt. The lily is her playground. And this poor, long suffering lily puts up with that, as well as my infrequent waterings until the time comes to give it a break from it's normal dose of kitty-loving and take it outside for the summer, where it rests up, gets indirect sunlight from under the roof of my back patio area, and more frequent waterings from the hose as I water everything outside, like a caring human should.

The reason why I bring this up today is because a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that another plant had somehow moved into the peace lily's pot. Now, I've had the occasional weed or clover pop in there, which is easy enough to pluck out, but this plant didn't look...weed-like. My brain tried to tell me what it was, but I refused to believe it, and decided to let it grow and see if it was true. Well, it's grown, and it is true. My brain was correct. I have a tomato plant growing under the canopy of the peace lily.  How a seed got in there, I haven't a clue. I threw a couple of inches of potting soil in the pot when I brought it outside, but it was commercial potting soil, not a mix of soil and home grown compost. I didn't start any tomatoes from seed this year, as my aforementioned lack of natural light in the house precludes me from raising healthy seedlings (I have plans to install  a grow light system in the basement in the future, but right now I lack fundage. But I digress...). I have absolutely no clue as to how a tomato plant is growing in my peace lily.

But it is.

And it is doing quite well, too.

I also have a stalk of wild corn growing the in a seam of concrete that runs between my patio and my driveway, but that's a story for another time. :)

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