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New Indoor Plant Blog

I envy people who know what they want to be when they grow up…I’m in my sixties and I still do not know.  As a child, I wanted to be a professional television viewer.  When it came time to attend college, I began ten years of switching majors (eight in all), with bouts of regular employment to support my search for a career.  I finally landed in Anthropology, an enjoyably broad area of study, and got a piece of paper qualifying me to either go to graduate school or manage a 7-11 store.  I decided to try community college and get a more practical associates degree in computer programming.  I took a part-time cashier/grunt job at the nearby garden center to help pay for this potentially lucrative degree, and by the time I graduated, I was hooked on plants and on working in tee-shirts and tennis shoes.


I have a collector’s personality, so that when I first began to work in the garden center (over thirty years ago), I wanted one of everything!  I took home every broken branch, seed pod, plantlet I found growing in the gravel beneath the plant benches, etc., until my house was overflowing with plants (in good or bad condition.)  Over the years, I began to gravitate toward particular genera, and started collecting more unusual plants.  As the buyer for a garden center, I was able to find odd, and even sometimes unidentified, plants as I traveled around various nurseries.  I peaked at cramming over 250 plants into a couple of spare rooms each winter, using shelving and grow lights to keep them alive until warm weather and a return to a shaded patio for the summer.


When I moved into a tiny condominium, I gave away most of my plants, and ended up with around 70 plants, which struggled to survive in three windowsills shared grudgingly by two cats.  As plants declined, they were not replaced, and I have finally arrived at an average of about 35 houseplants.  Even this much smaller number seems too many when I get home from a day of unloading trucks, moving plant benches, and carrying heavy pots and bags of soil for the few customers who appear to be in worst condition than I.  Nonetheless, I still impulsively grab the odd plant off of the latest truck, and spend a few days watching it sit in the “hold” area, deciding whether I can live without it or not—usually not.


With no academic background in horticulture, I have, with experience, acquired the knowledge necessary for my job of buying and caring for tropical and subtropical plants.  Working in a greenhouse is the next best thing to living in the Tropics—it’s warm year round, and I get to spend my days surrounded by beautiful and exotic green and flowering plants.  I love to talk about one of my favorite subjects—tropical plants—and I know from speaking with customers that there are plenty of you out there who also love houseplants, and I would love to hear from you.


Margot Gunn


Posted: 3/9/2013 by Margot | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: MargotGunn, TheGreatIndoors
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