The secret life of plants

Last night Guido and I were in bed. The lights were out. Guido was laying next to me boring me to death about how difficult it is to roll out a decent sweet pastry pie; whilst, bizarrely, all I could think about was how long a rubber plant’s tentacles might grow.

You see, I’ve discovered a wonderful Instagram account called “Boys with Plants”. To be clear. The photographs on that particular site have nothing to do with boys – they are all men – but it definitely involves plants. Some men have their clothes on, some (tantalisingly) do not. Every branch or leaf is strategically but super tastefully placed; if you catch my drift.

“When you embellish interior spaces with houseplants, you’re not just adding greenery,” I butted in abruptly. Guido was right in the middle of describing how he dusts flour on a work surface then kneads vigorously to a dry paste. “These living organisms interact with your body, mind and home in ways that enhance the quality of life,” I said. Spookily I sounded like a member of Royal Kew Gardens and if you visit “Boys with Plants” you’ll realise just how happily you could become one of their latest devotees too.

“Yeah. Anyway,” said Guido, “getting back to my pastry pie mix…”

Place several plants together, and you can increase the humidity of a room, which helps keep respiratory problems at bay. Studies at the University of Norway document that even using plants in interior spaces decreases the incidence of dry skin, colds, sore throats and a hacking cough. And if anyone had bothered to tell me any of this before Winter I’d have just stripped right off and caressed the nearest Begonia.

“Just imagine if we had a fully erect fiddle leaf fig in here,” I said. “At night, photosynthesis ceases, and plants typically breathe like humans, absorbing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide.”

Well at least I thought that sounded like a good idea, though, if I’m honest, it did have a touch of The Day of The Triffids about it.

“Look,” said Guido rolling over, “you’re a complete disaster area with house plants. You either starve them to death until they crisp up and wither or flood the hell out of them. You’re like the horticultural equivalent of a serial killer.”

That was harsh. But realise there are at least six feather ferns out there who would agree with him. I tried to imagine holding a big prickly cactus between my legs and, frankly, I think it would take far more skill than knocking up a buttery pastry which crumbled easily. So I battled bravely on.

“Okay,” I said, “but how would you feel about being photographed flexing arm muscles whilst grappling with a Monster Philodendron. If you’re feeling shy I’d be willing to throw in a Chrysanthemum.”

Guido rolled over groaning. Sometimes talking to him in bed can be such a tough gig. I could certainly tell selling this – naked with plants thing – was obviously going to be way more difficult to pitch than the – naked with maple syrup thing. So I closed my eyes.  I tried to clear my mind of any mental images of Guido slowly taking all his clothes off and then getting to know a big Geranium better.

But it’s amazing what a fertile imagination can do.

57 thoughts on “The secret life of plants

  1. JP, your posts always, at the very least, have me smiling throughout, but this one was a laugh riot. Your thought process and your way with words is a true delight. Thank you for sharing this part of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, for being here on WordPress, for this blog that makes me smile every single- insert swear word here-time!!

    Stripping off and caressing a Begonia? Love it 🙂

    Getting on Instagram!

    Like

  3. “You’re like the horticultural equivalent of a serial killer.”

    Carlos thinks the same of me, and he isn’t far off. I could kill a houseplant just by walking into a room and looking at it wrong.

    That said, i love these kinds of conversations where you two talk about two different things at once, but then it all comes together in the end …so to speak.

    Lastly …look out for thorns.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved this post. I also did not know about the humidity part. I’ll have to remember that when I get my own place. I’m not allowed to have house plants in my apartment, but I’d love to have a few inside the home.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I just choked on a sugar free taffy that I’m going to hear from later! I’ve killed at least three cactuses/cacti and too many Creeping Charlies to mention (the plants not the stalker, he lived). My murdering days are over! The suckers kill themselves in the car on the way home. They know they are doomed and don’t want to drag the whole painful process out.
    You two are too funny for words!

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  6. I am glad to be back reading blogsand starting with yours first. This was hilarious 😂 You too are able to handle parallel conversations quite nicely it seems. I laughed so much about the serial killer thing and am now curious about the boys with plants site

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  7. Well, there would be six feather ferns who might agree with Guido, but they won’t, because they are all dead.

    Cactis are not the only succulents, you know. I am sure Guido would look delightful posing with an aloe vera.

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  8. I am on a no buy list from the SFPCTP (society for the prevention of cruelty to plants) I have killed cactus by neglect. Maybe Guido can help me overcome my irrational fear of pastry?

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    • You obviously have history like me.
      Well you could lie next to my husband just before bed time and listen to his interminable stories about pie crust. That would either cure you or send you right over the edge. Just sayin.
      JP

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  9. Pingback: This week on Instagram: boyswithplants | BosGuy

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