Several Years Later

I haven’t been doing much with Big Leaves lately. I have been posting photos on my Instagram, Big Leaves Greenhouse, with somewhat irregularity.

I have moved away from my intended “forever home” and am now traveling for a living. Unfortunately, that means I no longer have my greenhouse. I guess that means my name isn’t quite accurate anymore. I think I’ll keep it though. Someday I’ll have a greenhouse again, and it’ll be even better than before. I’m thinking a thousand square feet at a minimum, with a rainforest wing and an arid wing. We all can dream, right?

The opportunity to travel as part of my career puts me in a unique position as a botanical enthusiast. As long as I stick to my plan, I’ll visit plenty of new and unique climates that support plants that I could only dream about back home. So far I’ve explored a few cool coastal and warm desert climates. I know how many plants I can manage to keep alive back in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s amazing what a little change in latitude will do for plants. You can go from barely clinging to life all the way to thriving and spreading just by going a few hours south. I’m excited to see what adding a bit of warm season water and humidity will do in my next few stops.

Even though I’m traveling, I didn’t completely lose my plant collection. There are some plants that I just can’t bring myself to part with. It’s not easy, but it is absolutely worth it. Traveling with plants does pose a unique challenge. Watering schedules, travel-related damage, fertilizing, protection from the elements and theft (it happened almost immediately), re-potting, and many other challenges have reared their heads. Some of them have been uglier than others, but it’s all part of the fun I guess. What really matters is that I still have a few of my favorite plants to enjoy, while the scenery around me constantly changes.

The plants that are traveling with me are near and dear to my heart, for various reasons. In case I forget what they were at some point in the future, I’m going to list them now. Honestly, if I didn’t keep lists, I don’t know where I’d be in life.

  • Aloe polyphylla
  • Boophane disticha
  • Borinda papyrifera
  • Dudleya cymosa
  • Echinopsis terscheckii (yes, from way back when)
  • Euphorbia milii
  • Lepismium houlletianum
  • Tillandsia brachycaulos
  • Tillandsia magnusiana
  • Tillandsia xerographica

I’m expecting another cactus or two to be added in the next few months, given where I currently am. How could I not?

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