I hadn’t grown up with a green thumb, so stocking my home with houseplants was the last imaginable scenario for a very long time. The pandemic had changed many things, among them the way we learn. After seeing the houseplants filling the Zoom backgrounds of my professors and classmates, I found an urgency to decorate my home with plants, too.
Having plants in the home serves three functions: to jazz up my video call background, to purify the air around me, and to serve as an aesthetic element for better living. I use this rationale to scope out local plant shops and Facebook Marketplace for low-maintenance houseplants.
Along with their newer counterparts, some old plants were also collected from on-campus events before the pandemic. I fondly remember painting a terracotta pot that came with a small succulent in the student lounge of St. Michael’s College. I also have a vague memory of doing the same at the Goldring Student Centre at Victoria College, though it is quite likely that this plant had since passed away. A great part of being a plant parent lies in the memories ensnared in the acquisition of each plant. Like framed photos and souvenirs, each of my plants bears a unique narrative.
Today, my plants live predominantly in my room, where I spend a lot of my time studying. There is a lot of work to be done in the presence of those plants, especially in the midst of so many libraries and campus spaces being closed to student access. As such, I believe now is a time more deserving of new plants than ever before. Being in a comfortable, customized space is extremely important to me when studying from home. As well, plants often make for great conversation starters when stuck in a breakout room or visiting virtual office hours.
What’s not to love! I’d love to hear about the plants you’ve picked for your study and/or living space in the comments below.