plant jams

Here are some notes for an essay I wanted to write, and still want to write, eventually, about the popularity and current trends in houseplants. The fact that I am in a full-blown Charlie Brown existential crisis about climate change is what keeps me from finishing it.

I keep getting derailed by the maddening reality that while houseplants are even trendier now than they were the 70s, while “jungalow” and botanical design have never been more popular decor themes, and while “clean eating” has made greens both tough and tender more sought after than ever, we as a society cannot get one lasting piece of climate change legislation passed that makes a legitimate difference in the well being of the planet.

Le sigh. I feel like the accumulation of all this personal greenery strikes me as a sad gesture of surrender. Since none of us little people can convince these huge corporations to seriously curb their emissions and quit splashing the earth with poison, we instead fill our domiciles with verdant tributes to the ecosystems that are rapidly disappearing from the planet around us.

See? That’s depressing as hell! This is where my brain goes when it tries to rationalize all this magical plant thinking! So I can’t get past the first two hundred words without wanting to lay down in front of a train, and subsequently this essay is on hold. And to think, Jeff Bezos could probably fix this whole problem (the planet, not my writing career) with a phone call and a tenth of his quarterly dividend check. Ugh. 

Anyway, here’s a little chunk of my research on one niche of the topic I especially enjoyed: the relationship between plants and music.

(RE: PlantWave and related gadgets. A scientist I know who has worked with plants for nearly forty years, says this isn’t actually scientifically A Thing. But, he says, “It sure is a nice thought! Pour a glass of wine and listen to your geraniums growing.” So save your shekels for a decent vinho verde and play them some Mort Garson instead.)

I still may write this. Sometimes these things just have to percolate for a while.

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