Thursdays are the worst day of the week. Okay, so some might say that I have a tendency towards the melodramatic, but I'm pretty sure it's true. It's far enough into the week that you if you're behind on something, it's really too late to catch up, but it's not quite close enough to the weekend to start counting the hours just yet. Think about it, no one sings songs about Thursdays or thinks, I wish it were Thursday already. It doesn't have a fun, colloquial name like hump day, and despite starting with a "T", it doesn't seem to even have an affinity to tacos. Really, the only good thing about Thursdays is Thanksgiving and that's ONCE A YEAR. So in the interest of trying to improve our Thursdays until the next Thanksgiving, I'm starting this new series called Green Thumb Thursdays!
One of my favorite things is talking to people with urban gardens of their own. It's a great way to learn about new plants, get growing tips and space ideas, and see some great pictures of someone else's green babies. So I've asked around and convinced a few people to let me interview them for this series so that we can all learn more about the wonderful urban gardens out there and the awesome people who tend to them!
For this week's Green Thumb Thursday, I talked with my close friend Christina N. (via email) about her patch of green in the Big Apple. A fellow displaced Texan, Christina brings an expert eye for design and a love of all things green to her cozy indoor space.
Erica: How do you support your plant habit (what is your day job)?
Christina: My day job doesn't support my plant habit. I steal them off the street. No, I do have one. It's not important though.
In general, what color would you consider your thumb?
My thumb is flesh colored although to be un-PC, it's yellow. To be metaphorical, I guess yellow is a good color to call it as well.
Where do you live and what space do you currently have for plants?
I live in the small town called New York City and I've allotted half of my kitchen to my plants, which is a 12x24 wire rack.
How did you first get into gardening?
I got into gardening as a precocious young child wanting to live off the grid because you can't trust the system.
Who told you about the system? :P
Did anyone in your family garden when you were growing up?
I think I did something in elementary school that started my interest.
Stay in school kids. It's worth it for all the plants when you grow up!
What kinds of plants do you currently have in your garden and how did you choose those ones?
Most of my plants are from IKEA. It started with Pooka, a money tree, and ended with Pachinko, an elephant's foot. I can't go in there and not leave with a plant. The other ones are because I read an article about the most common pollutants in the average home and which plants were best for getting rid of them. I got two peace lilies.
Do you know if this is the same study that led to the book from this week's Well Read Wednesday ?
I don't know the book but probably not. I was researching for an architectural competition in Copenhagen and I was just taking inspiration.
What is your favorite plant (either in your garden or in the world)?
I'm currently obsessing over finding a monstera leaf because I'm a little bit hipster and not proud of it.
What is a monstera leaf?
Emily has one and I've been trying to figure out how to steal a leaf.
For those following along, Christina and I both have a younger sister named Emily. This is her Emily, not mine. Although I borrow her occasionally. :)
What kind of plants do you feel you predominately see in NYC?
I don't know many people with plants so I can't say what's the most common one. The spider plant is another one in the article I read and it is pretty prevalent in stores and such. That and the peace lily. I saw an Oxalis in an office once and I've been searching for one of those too.
What is your favorite gardening tool?
I use my roommate's broken coffee maker as a watering pot.
Have you done any garden-related DIY projects or are there any on your to-do list?
The mere thought of growing a plant from a seed in my New York apartment is a daunting project I hope to achieve in the next few months of sunlight.
What are you thinking of growing? Herbs? Flowers? Medicine? ;)
I tried to grow a garlic scape. I don't know if I can though because they might need more space than I can give them.
What is your gardening dream?
I want to build a vertical hydroponic system. I had done research about algae farms in Denmark and those are super cool. Although I can't/won't eat algae so I wouldn't grow an algae farm.
Could you tell us more about the algae farms?
I looked into them years years ago. I think they were used as an energy source? I just remember they required a lot of direct sun so they were considering building them vertically.
Funny, I don't remember a lot of direct sun in Denmark...
Lol! I completely forget! I don't think the algae farms were in Denmark but the competition was and we eventually scrapped the idea because there's no sun.
What are your favorite gardening resources?
Home Depot. They have lots of everything. Or Erica. She's done lots of everything.
Awwww! But that's because there's so much more yet to do! Like figure out what a garlic scape is!
How can our readers reach out to you?
They can come physically find me at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. They have a field of Cherry Blossom trees and an annual tulip season. But seriously, have you been? You need to go. Look at that picture. Let's all go!
This interview has been edited for clarity and morphology, but never content.