November 13th, 2013 by Celia

Comforts in the Window Sill

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I just returned from a trip to my hometown. When asked what I was going to do on my first day back in Portland, I said “look out my bedroom window”. And that is what I have done!

My bedroom window embodies peace and relaxation like no other place in my house. There is nothing like sitting on my bed in the afternoon silence while watching the glow of sun and the dance of shadows gently gracing the room through the window. My window has a window seat, three sets of rectangular window panels topped with a half moon, two plant shelves, and framed photos of Rob and myself. In the center of the windows seat is an abalone shell encircled with sage and cedar bundles and a shell of copal.

Copal is an aromatic resin from a variety of trees which has been used in Mesoamerican cultures for centuries. Resins include the well-known frankincense, myrrh and turpentine, and many are incredibly fragrant. When placed over lit coals. the resins melt slowly and release their heavy, rich fragrances to the air. I have long since went through the pack of the tiny charcoal briquettes used to burn the resins upon, but I still I keep the copal out and crush a bit of in between my fingertips and inhale its sweet and pungent aroma. Sometimes when the sun shines on it, the warmed copal readily emits its fragrance.

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This African violet is always blooming. Seriously, it is never without the dark purple-blue flowers. I found it at an estate sale about 2 years ago and kept it in the same shabby, chipped pot. It seems happy there. Usually, I like to keep my African violets in small pots, because I read in a book that they like to be in a pot about a third of the size of the width of the leave spread. I tired that trick with a troubled African violet a friend gave me and it completly revitalized it. I hope to add more of these plants to my collection, in a variety of colors and textures.

A new plant for me as of this summer is the Mexican oregano below. Turns out I like plants that are fuzzy and have a country in their name! Seriously though, I love this plant. It is plump and juicy and incredibly fragrant (yes, like spicy oregano), plus it grows with the ease of the mint family and has a nice full shape. The green is a vibrant spring green. The leaves have an incredible vascular texture on their undersides. Turns out it likes to be watered much less than other mints, like coleus (kind of a water hog, that one).

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/     /     What is the most relaxing place in your home?     /     /
/     /     What are your favorite house plants of the moment?     /     /

 

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