I need green.
The garden is mud and rain, so I appreciate my house plants hugely at this time of year.
The sitting room is dominated by three large fig trees that live on the veranda in summer, but come indoors in the cold. They block off the book cases, drop yellowing leaves on the tiles and splash dark water everywhere from their saucers when pushed out of the way. Every available surface is covered in lemon and peppermint scented geraniums, devils claw vines, spider plants and exhausted amyrilis plants that are here at home while school is closed.
In the office an old shop shelf unit is groaning under Christmas cactus and the window is almost obliterated by lumpy, leggy geraniums waiting for the summer to explode again. Most of the geraniums are cutting from a single enormous deep red flowering plant, which is far too valuable ( to me! ) to be discarded in the autumn.
The bedroom is dominated by a gigantic spider plant that is hauled into a hanging basket each summer and has been the mother to hundreds of spider babies . The spider babies have grown roots in innumerable jam jars and been given away to children, who have grown them into their first house plant in many homes. When we rented out our home in Brecon I could not find homes for all of plants and I had to leave a spider plant behind, in the hope that the tenant would adopt it. Two years later, when we visited the house I was delighted to see the only changes that the tenant had made, was to add a large tiered book case to the sitting room to display the dozens and dozens of new spider plants he had potted up from the dangling spider babies!
The kitchen widow sill has jade plants and pink leaved collis jostling for light with a hibiscus and the last pink bedding begonia from the garden. There is just enough room for a seed sprouter currently growing green lentils and a very important space for Pixie the cat to escape from her bully brother Winston when a fight is on between them.
Occasionally I think I am mad to give up so much of my house to plants and then there is another grey day of rain and fog that keep us all indoors and I know exactly why I need them. Green is the colour of life and sharing my space with them is essential to all our survival until the spring!