This page, WRITE TO A PICTURE, is an invitation to our regular writers and to our visitors. Send an original poem, a story, or your recollections. Share your thoughts and experiences with those who like to READ what others write. Send to me at LaraOct7@aol.com.

 Early 'Write To A Picture' pages are archived. The links are here:

Beach Scene "1" Old Train Station "2"
The Carousel "3" The Fifties "4"
Summer Picnic "5" From The Heart "6"
Cloudy Moon "7" September Morn "8"
Passing The Time "9" Apples "10"
Rain "11" Pumpkins "12"
Halloween "13" Big City "14"
Remembrance Day "15" Autumn Harvest "16"
A Cozy Nook "17" Migration "18"
The Kitchen On Memory Lane "19" Holding Hands "20"
Indoor Gardening "21" Reserved



 


Indoor Gardening

By Marilyn (LaraOct7@aol.com)







I'm an indoor gardener. I like flowers and I like to take care of them. During the summer months I spend a lot of time in my flower beds and manage to keep my plants growing and blooming until frost.

I don't bring my outdoor plants in the house, but I do have a few indoor plants. I grow African Violets and have grown them since I was fourteen years old. I've never been without at least one violet in my window. I grow orchids, too, and right now I have nine. Two are blooming and the others have spikes. January is my best orchid month.

My mother grew plants in the house. I remember a few ferns and a begonia or two. Wandering Jew was another plant she liked and she always kept a few pots of ivy on the book cases in her schoolroom.

Do you have a cactus garden? Do you bring your geraniums inside when the weather turns cold? Have you tried forcing narcissus bulbs? How about the beautiful amaryllis? There are some beautiful amaryllis bulbs one can buy and I have grown a few.

If you aren't an indoor gardener, perhaps you have a relative or a next door neighbor who is. Why not take a few minutes and tell us what you've observed, or what you know first hand about indoor gardening. Fiction or fact, we look forward to your entry.






 


Nanny's Jungle

By Doris (ToTo38@aol.com)





There was never a time that my mom's kitchen was without plants of some type. Green or flowered, or herbs there were always plants.

When she moved from her apartment, in Brooklyn, to Long Island, just a few roads from us, mom had a kitchen AND porch to cover with plants. She could make anything grow no matter what bad shape it was in. She talked to her plants, softly. Sometimes singing, sometimes whistling. She said they each had favorite tunes. She'd get us to giggling over the names she called them. My kids got a kick out of their Nanny's idiosycrasies. But we all loved her gentle ways with her plants.

One day when our youngest, Bernadette, (who was named for my mom) was about four years old, she took careful note of her Nanny's plants. Walking around looking at each one and making comments on their flowers or how green the leaves were. After about a half - hour of looking and chatting with her Nannny about her plants Bernadette looked at her and said, "Nanny, your house is like a jungle!" Mom agreed, and the three of us set to giggling about it. From that day on mom called her home "Nanny's Jungle."

Today, January 1st, would have been mom's 101st Birthday. Bernadette has followed in her footsteps. She loves to garden. Perhaps, as she gets older, she'll create her very own "Nanny's Jungle" for her grandchildren.








 


Indoor Gardening

By susi (Texaswishr@aol.com)





All summer long on the porch they live
Sitting everywhere, such pleasure they give
Scheflera, dracaena with red-edged leaves
Every Spring I roll up my sleeves
And up from the basement, one by one
They're brought to enjoy the front porch sun
The African Violets shyly preen and bloom
They're on the top shelf where there's lots of room
There are two peace plants with their dark green spikes
And only in late afternoon enjoy the sunshine strikes
One has been here since eighty-nine
When Nancy went to Italy and she made it mine
A beautiful English Ivy twined 'round and 'round
I know it would feel better if planted in the ground
But I enjoy it more here on my porch
Where the sun doesn't get to it with its scorch
There are quite a few more plants in smaller pots
Quiet little greens with tiny white dots
A purple Moses-in -the -Bulrushes spreads its leaves
While a bonsai willow hangs it's head and grieves
Right now they sit in my living room on the floor
Waiting for me to make up my mind once more
Whether to enjoy them there or take them down
Into the basement while Winter rolls 'round
They look so pretty and the music they can hear
I think they will stay upstairs till Spring is here









 


Indoor Gardening

By Swampetta (SWAMPETTA@aol.com)





Orchid growing can be drastic!
My best ones are made of plastic.
And you may think it's funny...
I can grow a HUGE dust bunny.


Violets and Snow Drops, others of that ilk.
Mine are FANTASTIC! And made of silk.
I was going to try to do some Hydrangea
But I got nabbed by the Park Ranger.


And then there's the prize winner Roses!
Maybe if I can find the garden hoses.
Indoor or outdoor,,,it's all the same.
If I can grow them, they don't have a name.


I have been told that they are weeds.
But I grew them from such PRETTY seeds!
If they bloom, I know they'll SHINE!
What exactly, is a Kudzu vine?









 


No Green Thumb

By Jeanie (Mingo184@aol.com)





NO GREEN THUMB HAVE I
MOM TOOK IT WITH HER WHEN SHE DID DIE
BUT SOMETIMES I TRY.


ONCE SEEDS WERE SENT
FOR A BIRTHDAY OF MINE
TRIED TO GROW THEM
DIDN'T DO SO FINE


SO, CUT FLOWERS ARE THE THING
THAT'S BEST FOR ME
PRETTY COLORED ONES
FOR ME TO SEE.


ROSES AND PANSIES AND
TULIPS ARE WHAT I LOVE BEST
BUT ARRANGING THEM
IS NOT WHAT I DO BEST...BUT I TRY.


A LOVELY CRYSTAL VASE
FROM POLAND I OWN
FLOWERS ADORN IT
FROM ELSEWHERE THEY'RE GROW









 


Indoor Gardening

By Amy (Fabulousfilly@aol.com)





a flower pot on a shelf
tells a lot about one's self
is it alive or is it dead
a green thumb, or one with dread


indoor plants i cannot grow
i've tried, i've given up you know
that's not my art
i bake a pie so tart


i'll leave the growing to green thumbs
because i'm told i am dumb









 


Indoor Gardening

By Sharon (Sunyskys1943@aol.com)





On our kitchen window sill
Sits an aloe plant
It's not mine for I would kill
As growing things I can't


My husband has the green thumb
Not I for sure it's true
Gardening I am quite dumb
No matter what I do


Sometimes I water too much
And sometimes not enough
Not sure why this is such
Gardening is too tough


Now he can grow garden
While I kill it off fast
Maybe I will need pardon
Or sit in cell at last


Do they arrest for a kill
Of a harmless small plant
Why is my brain so dill
For growing things I can't









 


Growing Popsicle Sticks

By Fran (Frannie Stoddard@aol.com)





My mama's thumb was green and quick
Why she could grow anything she tried
I swear she could grow popsicles from a stick
Or grow green tomatoes, already fried


Her carrots were the pride of the land
Along with the brussel sprouts on their stalk
Cucumbers were the size of her arm and her hand
Yes, about her garden she loved to talk


She wasn't much into indoor flowers
With her sunbonnet on in her garden she'd till
She would plant her seeds, and hoe by the hour
In early morning and in evening's still


My mama's thumb and her garden were green
She cared for it lovingly from planting to pick
It was the most beautiful garden i'd ever seen
I swear she could grow popsicles from a stick









 


Miss Gorgeous

By Norma (Twi1ite@sbcglobal.net)





Just this day on January One,
An outdoor hibiscus in the kitchen alone,
Burst forth in bloom in orange and pink,
To let all know Miss Gorgeous needed a drink.


A nice drink she got and a whispered "Thank You"
For trying so hard to live winter through.
Without much light, most out of sight,
Miss Gorgeous holds on with all her might.


Through all the year of 2006,
She burst forth with blooms like a fountain,
She will be loved, get her picture taken,
While for spring days she is countin’.









 


Indoor Plants

By Barbara (Brierhillbarbara@aol.com)





We have two bathrooms in this old double wide.
In the large one is space near a window where i winter over house plants.
Ivy and aloe and wandering jew and an orchid, the orchid isn't happy.


Next fall I think I will have more plants and get a light for them.
This year I have had some rough times so my daughter brought the plants in.
She placed them so lovingly I was surprised when I went in.


I love to walk into a pleasant room, a happy room.
Plants and light and growing things a pleasant sight.
I hang 2 hanging baskets and then place the rest on a table.


Somehow little pleasantries help me during the winter months.
Colors and plants and blooms all help my moods.
The bath room is in shades of green so the plants are at home.









 


Kaleidoscope of Indoor Gardening

By Evelyn (Evenccw@aol.com)





With each turn of life’s kaleidoscope, breathtaking images slide by momentarily, each one more beautiful than the last. First it’s a solarium of fern, poinsettias and Christmas cactus, paper whites, then the stunning beauty of an amaryllis. Next in view is a carpet of Mom’s African violets, Daddy’s coleus, peace lilies in full bloom, forced tulips, daffodils, an array of desert cactus, orchids, succulents, bonsai and Norfolk pine, aloe vera, and a Venus fly trap! The list goes on and on. A grandson visiting from Phoenix at Christmas fifteen years ago said about my solarium, “Granny, this room looks like a rainforest!” I’ve scaled way down! However, I sincerely believe that nothing is so cheerful in the winter as a house graced with living, breathing plants.

Through the years there has been the charm of house plants in our home. Some to winter over and spend summers on the veranda then back again. Others with permanent residency by a window or by the fireside. Plants have run the gamut of desert cactus to fern from the rain forest to bulbs from Holland. I have been known to kill them with kindness. On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve had lovely plants that have thrived on my benign neglect. Either way, when a loved plant doesn’t make it and dies, it’s like a death in the family.

I greatly admired the profusion of African violets in my mother-in-law’s windows when we visited “Grandma and Grandpa McCusker” in their homes in Silver Spring and Timonium, Maryland. These violets were the only indoor plants that responded to Mom’s tender care. She had the touch! Locally, in Ohio, in our children’s growing-up years, a weekend wasn’t complete without a trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house. The window seat in their dining room in the winter months would be resplendent with coleus that Grandpa started from cuttings from his garden. By springtime they were a tapestry of brilliant color which he transferred to his flower garden outside. Baskets of fern hung over the coleus and there was always an amaryllis in bud or in full bloom After Grandpa died in 1974, Grandma kept up the amaryllis tradition. That window seat was always in bloom!





In my childhood years in Alabama, Aunt Freda was the keeper of the indoor plants which wintered over in the cellar. In northern Alabama mid-winters could be very severe. She was very careful to shelter oleander plants, elephant ears, and night blooming cactus. At this time she took cuttings which she placed in fruit jars filled with water on window sills in the kitchen and dining room. In the spring she shared them with neighbors and friends and of course, kept a few for herself. It was always a thrill to see the roots sprouting from the cuttings–a rebirth of sorts! This was the extent of our “indoor gardening.” My seventh grade teacher, Sister Felicitas, taught me the love of African violets, a talent to which I have aspired but never mastered. This is one plant that does well for me by benign neglect. The more I fuss the worse they respond. When I give up on them they bloom like the dickens!

My Uncle Carl liked to grow plants from seeds in his basement for spring gardening.. He shared with me the secrets of getting tomatoes “started just right” and when to place the seedlings in peat pots to await optimum weather to plant them in the garden. I tried planting tomato seeds under grow lights one year. It was a disaster. My seedlings sprouted and all was going well. Then one day it was as if a hurricane had come through. My cats had destroyed all of my trays of seedlings. I never tried that again.

My recollections of indoor gardening range from the comical to the sublime. When I was a little girl all vegetable peelings went into the pigs' slop pail outside the kitchen door. In my children’s growing-up years carrot and turnip tops were rescued to become a garden of lacy fern-like plants surrounding pineapple tops that were being rejuvenated. And if this counts as “gardening,” there would be an occasional science project of colorful crystals growing from chunks of coal right along side the photosynthesizing carrot and turnip tops. From time to time avocado pits were lined on the kitchen window sill, suspended over baby food jars by tooth picks, awaiting their rebirth. Occasionally one would make it to be nurtured to some form of full growth resplendent in its waxy green leaves.

Gardening in the kitchen did not preclude seed sprouting–alfalfa being the favorite and easiest to grow. Other bean seeds were sprouted, which sprouts never found their way into garden soil, but into various salads and kitchen concoctions. And yes, there were the science projects where dixie cups were filled with soil so the children could watch beans and corn sprout and grow.

Throughout our children’s formative years, they learned that indoor gardening is a seasonal process. In early fall, at first killing frost, some roots must be dug to be wintered over. While tulips and daffodils go back into the ground, the cannas come in to “winter over,” awaiting their time of verdant rebirth in the spring. Our solarium was always like a rain forest in winter, not to mention the proliferation of plants wintering over in the basement under grow lights. Karen, our youngest daughter, and her family have carried out that tradition in the old family home. I think the “indoor gardening” gene runs through the family. No matter which child we visit, there are always indoor plants to admire.

My indoor gardening is not so extensive as it once was. However, my pride and joy is a peace lily that seems to thrive in front of our fireside and it blooms its heart out whenever it takes a notion, which it has done recently. Whether from tender loving care or benign neglect, I’ve had it for eleven years. It has thrived and has been divided twice or three times. I prize it because my Aunt Helen gave it as floral tribute at my mother Cecilia’s funeral. They are both now with God.





A plaque in my garden reads: “The kiss of the sun for pardon, the song of the birds for mirth, one is nearer to God in the garden than anywhere on earth.” I am convinced that these words resonate deeply in the heart each person who admires a flower garden in the summer, be it large or small, a deck garden on a high rise building, or a potager garden on a city roof top. Having said this, in the fall indoor gardeners begin their work as some of the plants and cuttings find their way into the safety of living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, under grow lights in basements to winter over, waiting for Spring.

Someone once asked my Father why he was so successful with his gardens. He simply replied, “Because I am a lover of beauty!" The simplicity of his answer surprised me, and I shall keep it in my heart forever. Whether indoor or outdoor, I like to think that my gardens are the mirror of my heart!








 


Indoor Gardening

By RickMack (rmrickmack@aol.com)





Indoor gardening, I have tried,
And am hopeful for some success,
Chunks of concrete and tiles I’ve pried
Up, and made a pretty big mess.


There in the living room, I thought,
Where sunlight shines through the sliders,
Would prove an appropriate spot,
And plants should thrive like outsiders.


Of course, I had to excavate
Lots of dirt, where once was the floor,
But, with a backhoe, I did great,
After widening the front door.


That darn machine just wouldn’t fit,
Because the tracks stuck out so far,
New double front doors are a hit -
At least my neighbors say they are.


Anyhow, I filled in the plot,
With dark topsoil of a good grade,
And fine fertilizer, I bought -
You wouldn’t believe what I paid.


Finally, the planting began,
Rows and rows of various seeds.
Following a logical plan.
Indoors, won't worry about weeds.


The coffee table had to go,
The rocking chair and blue loveseat.
The hassock? Maybe, I don’t know,
But I do like to rest my feet.


It seems strange to watch the TV,
From my favorite leather chair,
With those furrows in front of me.
I can’t wait till flowers grow there.









 

 

 

 



Watch these pages for more of these "Write to a Picture" pages.
In the meantime, click the links below for
poems and stories by our other authors.


Winter Kill

Looking Behind To See What's Ahead

Falling Snow

Watching Snowflakes

Peace

I'm A Little Dutch Girl




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