Sunday, June 26, 2016


I've been having a tough time keeping up with the posts as scheduled, and I haven't been feeling like I was doing a particularly good job making them interesting anyway, so I'm going to take a break of undetermined length. Everything's fine; I'm just tired.

Orchid posts will continue as usual.


Alun Salt said...

Sorry to hear that. I see it more as you deserve a break more than you should take a break. I'll keep an eye on my RSS feed for when you return.

Ivynettle said...

I'll miss you, but I understand all too well that Iyou just need to take a break. I certainly needed it. I certainly needed one. (Hell, I even needed a break from reading blogs, which is why I haven't been here as much as I would like.)

One thing that helped me, when I felt ready to start posting again, was to set the bar very low. I always expected long, well-written posts from me, and that just felt too intimidating and kept me from blogging even when I wanted to do it again. So I started off with just one picture and a few sentences at a time, and that's worked really well. Maybe it's something that'll work for you too, when you feel ready to come back. (If you feel ready to come back. As I said, I'll miss you, but blogging should always be fun and not an obligation.)

mr_subjunctive said...


No question I'll come back at some point. (In early drafts of this post, I said that this would last a month at most. That's probably still true, but I decided that even I was pretty sure, I still didn't want to commit to being back by any specific date.)

Saby said...

Have a lovely hiatus, and welcome back whenever you're ready. Don't worry too much about making posts interesting, your writing makes mundane things enjoyable to read about.

Betsy Beach said...

And I JUST found this blog. Ah, well at least you have 7,891,452 previous posts to keep me entertained (and to gather great plant-y information from) while you're away. Enjoy!

Ivynettle said...

That's good to know. But yeah, definitely better to not set a specific date.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, though I've never commented. As I am slowly going through your old posts when I'm sitting around doing nothing, I thought of something Marc Maron said on his podcast: he said the best decision he made was to keep it coming out every week, right on schedule, even though it wasn't getting listeners or helping his career yet. I think the best thing about your blog, aside from your wicked sense of humor, is that it is so consistent. It kind of becomes a part of the reader's life after a while and is missed when not around.

If you need a break, well, that is what you need. But I just wanted you to know how much pleasure I get from going through the archives and all of your "hardest to easiest" plants. At this point, you've written three books! And if you ever wrote one, I'd buy it straight-out.

I am an academic and by extension a writer, too, and I know it can really suck sometimes. (I am writing you now. I am supposed to be working on article.). But you are doing it and doing it well at that.

Just in case I haven't been annoyingly rah-rah enough, here's a quote for you that I have framed on my desk:
Some times you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you're doing good work when it feels like all you're managing to do is shovel shit from the sitting position. --Stephen King

P.s. I do wish you'd talk a bit more about regular houseplants. Things seem very shlumberg (spelling ?) specific lately. But whatever. Back to shoveling shit from shitting position....

Take care

mr_subjunctive said...


The problem with writing more about regular houseplants is that I'm not buying new ones; the recent Zantedeschia was the first plant I've bought that wasn't an Anthurium or Schlumbergera in two years.[1] A little of this is financial (I don't buy new plants because I have no money to buy them with), some of it is fear of bringing in new pests (this is also why I don't trade plants anymore: I'm pretty sure that the scale rode in on a gift from a reader), some of it is because there aren't that many plants out there that I haven't tried at one point or another, and I feel like chances are slim of me finding a new kind of plant that I both like and can grow.

And the non-Anthurium/Schlumbergera plants I have have been around long enough that, with very few exceptions, I think I've already blogged about everything they're capable of doing.

I've taken all-but-orchid breaks pretty regularly; I didn't notice until just now, but I've started breaks in late June / early July during four of the last five years (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). It just seems not to be a great time of year for me. Trust me to know when I'm capable of going on despite not feeling like it and when I'm not.

The book thing comes up periodically. If you think I've never thought about it: I have thought about it.

A lot.

Too much, really.


[1] (I also bought a Cyrtomium falcatum, in the same transaction, but I've had one of those before, and I don't imagine I'll wind up with anything to say about Cyrtomiums that I haven't said before.)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I figured you were becoming a one or two plant kind of guy. I've read the though the posts and saw that you had some book-writing thoughts, hence my comments regarding book writing. But the quote was mainly for the whole feeling like you're shoveling shit part because you said you felt you weren't making the posts interesting enough. The going on part isn't my business.

Anyhow, I think the way you categorize the plants from easy to difficult and the way you characterize them would make a lovely structure for a book. They've been really helpful for me as well. I'd so buy that book.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post.

looknleap said...

I hope you get everything you need out of your break. I'm a newish lurker whose been working my way through your archives. Your plant profiles are amazing. They manage to be both entertaining and hugely informative. I've always loved plants but I have to admit my collection has doubled since I found this blog, it's definitely added to both my passion for plants and my confidence in my ability to take care of them. I hope you'll continue writing and to be honest I'm hopeful you'll publish a book one day.

PlantAddict said...

I'm a pretty private person, and never comment on sites such as this, but I stumble here from time to time. I enjoy your wit, knowledge and insight, especially when I'm looking to add something specific to my own collection and need a first hand account of how something performs. I sincerely hope you get the much needed mental break.

And keep looking at beautiful junk. That sometimes helps.

"You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think." ~ Dorothy Parker