Saturday, June 1, 2019


One: the article I mentioned writing last year for the Old Farmer's Almanac Garden Guide is out; print copies have been available on their website for a few months. I've also heard of print copies being available in actual stores, though I have yet to witness this in the wild.

Two: you've probably figured this out already, but I think I'm done writing the blog. Or at least I'm going to stop feeling bad about not writing posts, which probably amounts to the same thing in the long run. (It leaves the door open in case I later decide that there's something I just have to share with the world.)

There are multiple reasons for this, but the two biggest are 1) plant-writing burnout and 2) discovering that I am substantially happier when I spend less time on the internet.1 Despite 1), I am still going to have and grow way too many plants; despite 2), I am still going to approve comments2 and respond to e-mails and update photos and names in the seedling galleries (because sometimes I have found the galleries convenient for my own purposes). Blog-adjacent stuff will all probably happen much more slowly than it used to, though, and some of you know that I'm already wildly inconsistent when it comes to e-mail. If I manage to name the Schlumbergera seedlings from the 2018-19 season, I will probably post to let you know what those are, though I don't promise to explain the names.

It's also possible that a few older posts may be edited or deleted from time to time, as I'm increasingly uncomfortable with having so much personal stuff on here. (I know nothing ever goes away completely on the internet, but it seems like there'd be no down side to making some things more difficult to find.) Changes to the archives, if any, will likely be so minimal that you won't notice them,3 and to be honest, combing through it all and editing stuff feels like it would be a lot of work, so I'm not sure this is likely.

I wish I had other houseplant blogs to point you to, but I don't. I don't encounter very many to begin with; I can only remember seeing three actively-updated ones in the last two or three years. Of those, one is primarily interested in showing you Instagram-worthy photos of plants, without much actual information. The other two offered information, but it was the same information you could get by doing a search on-line: they weren't bringing personal experience or "here's what the books don't tell you:" or trivia about the plants. I mean, goodness knows it didn't always work, but I did try to throw in something that wasn't just "water when dry; bright indirect light; propagate by cuttings; watch for scale, mealybugs, and spider mites."

Though I suppose sometimes you just want to know when to water your Aloe, and digressions about artificial insemination of sheep and rants about the herbal supplement industry only get in the way.

If readers want to suggest some other houseplant blogs for other readers to look at, please, leave a link in the comments. I promise not to say if your blog is one of the ones I refused to endorse above.4 Though I also don't promise to publish your comment: see footnote 2.


1 This piece (probably NSFW) by Patricia Lockwood in the London Review of Books, which I strongly encourage you to read even if the internet seems fine to you, is the best description I have yet found of the way being on the internet has become unpleasant to me personally. (It won't necessarily help you understand what I mean; I just don't have anything better to point you to.)
2 (Though some of you will have noticed that I am getting a lot pickier about which blog comments I approve, in ways which probably feel arbitrary and ridiculous to you but make sense to me. Though they are actually probably just arbitrary and ridiculous. But perhaps adding an element of gambling to blog commenting will make it more exciting?)
3 (assuming you ever look at the archives anyway, which I doubt)
4 Oh, and -- if you have a houseplant blog and you know that I've looked at it in the last two or three years, you shouldn't feel offended that I've declined to endorse it. Choose whichever option makes you feel better:
A. Mr. Subjunctive looked at my blog and then forgot about it; he's declining to endorse other blogs, not mine. Probably blocked it from his mind because he was jealous of my brilliance.
B. I don't give a fuck about whether my blog meets Mr. Subjunctive's criteria for being a good houseplant blog, because it's mine, and the only person who has to be happy with it is me. Which I am.