Long Distance Plant Care, shopping and more

As you know from my last entry, I am abroad in the UK until next Tuesday. I have been here for a wedding in Barnard Castle and to visit friends and family in Newcastle upon Tyne. I didn’t think I’d miss my plants, but I do! My dad has volunteered to care for them for me while I’m gone. I’ll only be gone two weeks, so there isn’t much watering that needs to be done, as I gave almost everyone a good soaking before I left. I was, however, adamant that he keep my cool mist humidifier running, as my side of the house is heated by a wood stove which would absolutely decimate the humidity levels most of my tropicals require. On Monday night he FaceTimed me to give me the tour so I could see how everyone was getting on. I was particularly interested in my Monstera which was threatening to put off a new leaf just before I left, and sure enough it has! It was a struggle trying to convince him that “just topping them up” was actually more harmful than good when it came to watering pots, so I think a couple of calathea in my corner full of Marantacea got a little more water than they should have. I’m hoping they will be more forgiving of this, but I suppose we will have to wait to find out.

While here in the UK, I intend on doing some plant shopping. Because border crossing doesn’t allow me to bring them home with me, I will entrust them to friends here and share custody of them (visiting rights, permission to use their photos for blogs, regular updates on their health, etc). I just can’t pass up the opportunity to see what varieties are available here that I can’t find at home. I am limited in the access I have to variety where I’m located– not quite close enough to Toronto to benefit from the trendy plant shops that import cool stuff. I’m hoping to find some varieties of peperomia that I have seen on instagram but haven’t had access to from the two or three plant shops I frequent in KW. If I can get my hands on a string of hearts, I’ll buy it on the spot, too.

I poked my head into the Urban Outfitters in Town today, but didn’t see anything too exciting. I’m not sure why I thought I would, Urban Outfitters isn’t in the plant game, just kind of sells them as an accessory. I do wish they would employ someone to take better care of the plant section, though. They had two English Ivys that looked rather grim, and their snake plants looked like they had been in a sword fight and lost (most likely damaged during shipping).

Marks & Spencer have a cute little plant section– mostly cut flowers and “grow it yourself” bulbs for the coming holiday season (amaryllis, etc) but they did carry a number of Air Plants, Kalanchoe, miniature roses, and your standard phaleanopsis orchids. They even had a dendrobium orchid, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in person before, let alone in any of my local plant shops.

Fenwick’s had a collection of ferns and some cacti, but nothing that special.

Tomorrow I’m planning on dragging my husband into a plant shop that has newly opened in town called House of Botanics (https://www.facebook.com/floralandbotanicalstyling). From what I can see online, it is the urban boutique, houseplant focused shop I’ve always hoped and dreamed for. Like I mentioned, I have three or four places I visit to shop for plants, but none of them have that trendy urban vibe like the shops you see on social media. The Sill, in New York, is a great example, or The Urban Jungle Philadelphia. You all know the type. I need to get myself to Toronto for a day trip in the spring and just go ham on their selection.

I will certainly have more to say next week once I’ve visited House of Botanics, so I will keep you informed on my houseplant adventures abroad. The husband said he has a plant-centric field trip planned for us this week as well, so I will be sure to take lots of pictures to share with you all.

We go back to normal on Nov. 14th, with one shorter blog post today and then another just after I fly home on Nov. 7th.

If you’re in Canada and wondering about our import policies regarding houseplants, have a look at the Canadian Boarder Services Agency website: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/fpa-apa/menu-eng.html

Also, BIG NEWS if you didn’t already know you can follow the blog on instagram: @leavesfordayskw and on the blog’s brand spanking new twitter account: @leavesfordays1 to stay up to date with posts and some in-between photos or interesting stories that don’t necessarily fit into a weekly post. I’m looking forward to getting to know some of you through social media and sharing tips and photos.

Thanks for sticking with me, plant friends!

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