Dumpster diving for the Philodendrun


There were two of them lying there helplessly. Looking forlorn. Wilted. As I prepared to dump a small bag of trash apparently on top of them. I was in college. Living in a basement level studio apartment in Ballard. There was no way they would fit in my place.

Dove in. Pulled them out. Crammed them in the back of my Datsun roadster. And took them to mom’s law office in Lake Forest Park. My dear friend Cam’s dad - Robert the Architect - had created the structure. It had an apartment on top with glass windows for walls that looked down over the airy space. Ceiling high ledges ran along the structure.

Mom loved the plants. At first they lived on top of the network of filing cabinets that sat upon her prized royal blue carpet. But they kept spreading. Eventually she put them up on the high ledge. She would lean all the way out the apartment window to water them. Or make us do the deed.

There is a plant man named Hilton Carter whom I follow on Instagram. His house is like a jungle. Totally groovy. And so this past weekend, I visited Swanson’s Nursery looking for something that would strike a chord. And there she was. Majestic. Not in a dumpster. Filling me with so many memories of mom that I knew right then and there - she had to come home.

Photo: Nala in her jungle