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Houseplants Are Not Clutter!

Clutter control is the hot topic of the new year. It seems no blog or magazine is without advice.  Amazingly, some of the advice involves buying lots of new stuff to control the old stuff causing trouble.  Analysis of this is badly needed,  but we haven’t the time.  Not now.  Not when house plants, living things, have been put , by some, in the category of clutter.

Now what is meant by clutter? The logical thinking might be that clutter is what gets in the way of the enjoyment of our surroundings.  Clutter would be things that are not pulling their weight.  Things that take up space but are neither useful or beautiful.  Things that crowd out what we treasure.

Another photo courtesy of

Another photo courtesy of

That couldn’t define indoor plants. First, they are useful.  Plants of course use carbon dioxide and give off oxygen—that has to be helpful.  Plants really do help in removing multiple toxins from indoor air.  Indoor air needs this.  In yet another example of the unfairness of life,  the more that has been invested in insulation and windows, the more likely toxins are to be building up in the air.  So, plants are good for physical health.  Breathing cleaner air has to be a benefit.  Mental health can suffer too when things outside are looking far too beige and grey.  Tending indoor plants can be a quick, and effective, therapy session.

Plants appreciate the attention paid to them. It doesn’t take much time or effort to clean a few leaves.  Clean leaves are more beautiful and also more effective at removing those toxins.  Take the time to check the soil before watering.  This one simple  thing can avoid  many problems, some of which are far from simple.  Small amounts of time and effort   lead to happy discoveries.  New begonia leaves are tiny works of art  and the sight of an emerging bloom spike on an orchid has to brighten any mood.

All these benefits—sounds expensive. It isn’t!! Friends and family may be glad to share plants—for free.  Clubs and organizations have sales and often offer interesting plants at bargain prices..

So plants aren’t clutter and they aren’t a luxury.  They bring nature to our homes every day—and nature is needed –every day.

Susan Thornbury

Indulge in an oasis of plant information from and thanks again for photos from urban jungle photographers and


Orchid Heaven

Friday, June 5th, More than a dozen Master Gardeners from The Raincatcher’s Garden visited the Tarrant County Demonstration Garden for helpful ideas and then traveled to D&B Orchids, the Orchid Greenhouse run by Dr. Dotty Woodson and her husband, Berry Woodson.

We were overcome by the sight of approximately 8,000 orchids and the botany lessons taught by Dotty that day.

Meet some of the stars of our visit to D&B Orchids.



It was intoxicating. Orchids everywhere!  This purple orchid was growing out of a pot, one of many, hanging from the rafters of the greenhouse.



And just when you thought you had found your favorite, another would steal the show.

 Angracum from Madagascar

Angracum from Madagascar

Dotty’s husband was the recipient of the  Herb Hager Award for Hybridizer of the Year from the American Orchid Society for his hybrid, Phalaenopsis Jose Carreres. Hopefully, Starla snapped a picture of it that we can share.

If not, looks like we will have to make another trip to D&B Orchids.


Video by Starla

Pictures by Ann

Thank you Ana and Michele for arranging the trip!





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