Jungle Love

Three weeks ago, I was travelling to Tronna for the weekend to meet the entirety of my mister’s family for the first time. That in itself is enough to make an anxious girl frantic, but it came on the heels of the massacre in Orlando – a terrible event that still has me reeling and and feeling pretty lost and displaced – as well at the end of The Big Project™ I’d been working on and watched email after fraught email come in as I got further and further from home and closer and closer to a weekend of stupidly hot weather in the city. And those were just the me things. June was fugly.

After a long bus ride, then a long subway ride (downtown to Yorkdale – almost as long as it gets), we made it to the place we would meet the mister’s parents and make our way to a family dinner (*gulp*).

Our meeting place was brilliant, though. Home to this lush, urban vegie farm that is part of the elevated eats initiative.

broccoli and basil and fig trees, oh my!

It offered sweet respite from recycled/underground air, a chance to have a smoke, check messages, and just chill in the shade for a bit.

Silly aside: it was also the parking lot for the local police and mall security offices. A couple of officers walked out just as I was taking a medley of pills from a bottle of pills I’d packed for travelling. It probably didn’t look too good to find a couple of disheveled hippie types lollygagging about their parking lot, one downing a mitt full of pills. They didn’t say anything, but did I mention that I was already a nervous wreck?

Upon checking messages, I found one from my objective, somewhat heterosexual, male bestie (OSHMB) asking “do you want a bunch of gorgeous plants?”

Is the pope catholic?

Is a frog’s arse water tight?


Anxiety gone.

I had plants to tend to.

From a few hundred kilometers away.

The plants were coming my way as the result of a bittersweet series of events as OSHMB’s parents had both passed away, along with his wife’s (also a dear friend – Sara, I’m sorry you’re relegated to “wife” in this story, but, as is so often the case, Ira was the instigator) step-mother and they had welcomed sprog the third into their darling wee family.

All within a few weeks.

Terrible and heartening stuff, friends.

I was honoured and humbled to be considered for providing these plants with a forever home.

I arranged a back porch plant exchange between OSHMB and my daughter, who was house-sitting for us and came home to a jungle in my kitchen.

I may have forgotten to tell the mister that I’d adopted a brood of plants while we were away, but I think he secretly enjoys that our home looks like a tree house for adults and that’s largely down to the plants…and maybe the kitties…and books.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been monitoring and fretting and potting and re-potting and NOT re-potting and pruning and rooting and generally trying to do my very best to listen to what these plants want so I can do my best by them. They were obviously well-loved, but came to me a bit worse for wear because ailing owners + funerals and the rest and I just want to make them happy.

This week, they said “thank you” in the form of a bunch of new growth:


These are the new roots of an inherited red mezoo and an ivy from my existing jungle. The mama mezoo got her own, dedicated pot and enough of a trim for three give-away plants.

Those leaves at the base of the woody trunk are baby ET’s fingers. How cool is that for a plant name? The blurry Angelina in the foreground will likely drop some of those new leaves in the next few days to self-propagate.


I was pretty worried about this low-lying stonecrop because a good bunch of it had calcified by the time it came to me, but I took my tiny snippers to it and carefully pruned away the dry bits and now it’s basically Audrey II.

These newcomers also forced me to whip my existing and woefully overgrown jungle into shape, as well.


My hoyas are total hussies and will make out with just about any plant, but they particularly like the monsteras. The hoyas have been given a ruthless chopping, but the chopped off bits are rooting away in water for propagation. I’ve given away or sold (hey, the plants may be giving up their young for free, but the soil, the pots, and the food don’t re-propagate and all of the money goes back into the plant fund) about a dozen baby plants in the last three weeks. It’s so nice to see them go to caring people.


Once I shuffle the next lot of bairns off (spider plants, hoyas, mezoo), that monstera, christmas cactus, and oyster plant will be getting hair cuts and I’ll have another lot. I also might try my hand at getting some babies from this beast:


She’s an adopted rubber tree plant who is about six feet tall and came to me a few years ago because her last owner couldn’t provide her with enough sunshine. To say that she’s happy in my nerd cave is a bit of an understatement as I feel like there’s new growth on her every bloody day.

By the way, I did survive the trip to Toronto and the meeting of the mister’s family, who are all lovely people even if I’m still not convinced they’re not Fraggles, even the ones who don’t live on Fraggle Rock, but Fraggles are lovely anyway. I also got in a visit with a bestie and got some art supplies and dim sum.

And then I came home to a jungle. Bliss.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Janet wilkins says:

    Mel I just love reading your tales which are always sprinkled with lots of bits of wisdom and down to earth humour. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thatmelanie says:

      you are too kind, as always, Janet! thanks so much!


  2. priscillapheonix says:

    LOVE! They are stunning and some very rad names. Wooo! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thatmelanie says:

      thanks, lady! I take a lot of pride in them!


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