So far, in June, I’ve bought 5 plants. One is called a string of turtles, another is a cactus, and one is a ficus. I don’t know the names of the other two but they are green, and lush, and alive. I shouldn’t have bought so many plants; I don’t even have room for them. They sit on my windowsill and table tops and radiators like too many cramped guests. I don’t know how to take care of plants either. I keep thinking they’re going to die because they wither or turn yellow or curl up or the leaves drop off completely but somehow they don’t. I want to believe that nothing really dies if you wish hard enough but I know that isn’t true. Most things die; many things die. Still, sometimes we get lucky. Sometimes life is forgiving.
Mainly everybody has plants these days. Everyone’s homes are blooming and bursting with life. That’s the point of having houseplants, I think. We want green rooms. We want hope and kindness which is maybe what plants represent. We want to believe that what died doesn’t always stay dead even though we know it mostly does.
Green rooms make the bad days better. When the dishes pile up and you haven’t changed out of your pyjamas and you need to take out the garbage, you can sit down on your couch, surrounded by leaves and branches, and feel something other than dread or exhaustion. There’s life in the room and that’s enough to make you remember that you’re alive too and that there’s more to this life you’re living than dirty dishes and pyjamas and an overflowing trash can.
Dull spaces look better with houseplants in them. Empty spaces, grey spaces, bland spaces. Everything that was once barren or dim is improved with the addition of greenery. I look into plant shops or cafés with plants in their windows every time I pass them. I can’t help it. We are drawn to beauty even when we’re not looking for it. Green rooms are joy and comfort and togetherness. They are everything I want in life. They are everything I want to be too. So I fill my home with houseplants, clutching at bright things recklessly, yearning for the miracle that only green rooms can bring.