It has been exactly one year and five months since I acquired my first set of houseplants from a friend who was moving off-island. That first collection consisted of two planters and six common houseplants.
In due course, my enthusiasm would evolve from obsession to full-fledged madness. I became a certified crazy plant lady. I hoarded plants. I frequented nurseries every week. I acquired agricultural import permits and imported exotic collections from Asia, the U.S. mainland and South America. I studied their basic taxonomy and classifications. And yes, I foraged the wild (with permission from taotaomona lest I get sick).
Over the next several months, I would amass a medley of houseplants and my house would succumb to their space-consuming and pest-promoting maladies. I had plants in my kitchen, my living room, my entryway, my front yard and my backyard. Real estate for human space grew smaller and smaller. Plants took over my space, my time, my life. And before I knew it, I could not keep up with all their needs — the different watering schedule, the humidity check, the pest control, the indoor light adjustments.
With the Covid-19 lockdown forcing everyone to stay home, gardening made history last year. Home Depot and nurseries became therapeutic refuges for many. Gardening seeds and soil mixes were flying off the shelves faster than toilet paper. And with increased demand came a spike in price tags.