The funny thing about publishing blog posts is you have NO idea what people are going to latch onto.  For example, I could write a  post about how to fix your own central vac and for some reason everyone gloms onto what kind of candy wrappers I have in my garbage, which then degenerates into a pages long discussion of what’s better, After Eights, Ovation sticks or none of the above because only devil people eat candy.

You people are nuts.  I’m O.K. with that. I suspect you are too.

So when I published my post revealing the new love of my life (my new tulip table) I wasn’t surprised when the comments started reaching into the direction of two things that were completely and totally unrelated to my new tulip table: my midcentury modern lamps and … a plant.  Let it be known right now that I suck at plants.  I’ll fully admit that I rock at vegetable gardening and if asked to, would stand on top of a vegetable garden mountain waving a green flag wearing a broccoli floret bikini.  But indoor plants?  Sometimes I fish dead ones out of garbage bins and bring them home just to save me the trouble of actually killing them.

I don’t do indoor plants. My house is exceptionally dark and  I have in my head for some reason that the minute you bring a plant inside it become self caring.  Like an artificial plant.  Or … a cat.  In my head there’s no need to tend to them, fertilize them, or even water them until they’re little brown twigs surrounded by a carpet of crispy brown leaves. THAT is the exact moment I stare at them perplexed, and think about maybe giving them a little bit of water.   I had to buy a Soda Stream just to make sure I water myself.  Plants have no chance.

But there are a FEW that I’ve discovered over the years that can almost fend for themselves in my dark and arid home.  One of those is the plant seen in my tulip table post … the maidenhair fern.


1. The Maidenhair Fern

Maidenhair fern is a bright green fern with airy, little leaves.

This pot of them on my table is actually a group of around 6 very small ferns that I planted together in one pot to give the impression of a big plant.


Maidenhair ferns like the care of a typical fern.  They do NOT need a lot of light and they need humidity.  So placing their pot on a plastic tray with some pebbles and water will keep them happy.  The pebbles and water give them humidity without having them stand in water all the time which would rot their roots. They like to be wet but do NOT like to be overwatered so if you forget the odd watering it’s A Okay.  Also if you leave it too long and forget to water for ages, even a nearly dead Maidenhair fern will eventually start putting out new leaves again even when you think you’ve for sure killed it.

2. Baby’s tear


A pretty, pretty, bright green delicate little plant that everyone will say “OH!  I LOVE THAT PLANT!” when they see it, yet no one will know it’s name.  Baby’s tear.  It is Baby’s tear.  And those planters are made out of a few squares of mirror from the dollar store.


Same as the Maidenhair fern.  Indirect light with surrounding humidity and yeah … watering.


3. Staghorn Fern

If you’re a bonafide hipster or hipster trend follower you may recognize the Staghorn fern as the plant de jour of 2010.  Whatever design blog you looked at, no matter what they were talking about, a Staghorn fern was sure to be seen somewhere, often beside a big hunk of Chevron.  The Staghorn fern was soon replaced by wood pallets and more recently Kilim rugs.


The Staghorn fern likes low to bright indirect light, and loves to dry out between waterings.  That’s what I’m looking for in a plant.

A couple of other tips I’ve figured out for keeping plants alive beyond the first week is to make watering easier. I know.  How difficult is pouring water onto something?  Very difficult apparently since I have to come up with a tip sheet on how to do it.


  1. Put plastic or clay dishes under your plants so you can water them right where they are and don’t have to move them to a sink to water them.
  2. Keep a small, discreet watering can around EVERY area of your house that you have indoor plants.
  3. That watering can I told you about?  After it’s empty, refill it immediately so it’s always ready to just grab and water with.
  4. Use a moisture meter.  I got mine at a garage sale but Amazon, hardware store and garden centres carry them.

Plants.  All I’ve talked about is indoor plants.  So I cannot wait to see what actually gets discussed in the comment section.  My money is on how I like my Soda Stream.

Have a good weekend!


  1. Ansula says:

    Okay. I’ll go there.
    I was so happy to see the “something” (maybe roll of plastic wrapped electrical wire for your next remodel?) under the white lacquer buffet in the picture of the maidenhair fern. Don’t we all do that and think no one will notice?

    • Karen says:

      Ha! To the left are gold “chargers” and to the right the white wire is actually an extension cord for the lamps. :) Good eye. ~ karen!

  2. Sonja Donnelly says:

    I do love your blog, I think I may just have to get a Staghorn fern.
    But since you asked what strange things your followers notice, I just have to say I find the ads in the middle of your blog very distracting and sometimes down right strange. I know you must pay for your blogging somehow but I do wish they could at least be off to the side so I could concentrate on what you are writing about. But in spite of that I continue to follow you even tho I sometimes want to put black tape over the moving and jumping ads.

    • Karen says:

      Sorry Sonja. That’s where the ads have to go. The reason they go there is because people over time have learned to ignore the ads on the side and advertisers know that so they don’t want to pay for ads people ignore. Which makes perfect sense. The ads don’t jump and move, they’re all stationary. The page moves as you scroll but that’s it. :) ~ karen!

  3. Renee says:

    A tip for a way to use up that rhubarb. My daughter made rhubarb lemonade last year. It was so yummy. I think she just blended it with sugar & lemon juice & let is steep, then strained out any chunks.

    ok this will sound stupid, but where can you even buy houseplants anymore? There used to be a store called Frank’s Nursery & Crafts – loved it, closed years ago. All I find is a small smattering of houseplants at Home Depot & the like…..

  4. Leisa Joan says:

    I did kill the Snake plant. so there.

  5. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I also research any plant before I bring it home..I have a few cats that quite enjoy devouring houseplants..

  6. Pat S. says:

    Hi – yes I would love to hear about the soda stream! Have been thinking about one for a while, cause I like soda with white wine, but hate all the plastic bottles…
    Love your blog. Can’t complain about houseplants – I find them kind of boring when they’re too easy – had to get rid of some 20 yr olds when they got too big. Struggle with orchids but will try the tips. Enjoy experimenting with the rest to see if I can find optimal light/water requirements.

    • Renee says:

      I got one for my son’s birthday. He said it was the greatest gift that he wouldn’t buy for himself, but never knew he needed. He makes plain carbonated water & then adds a bit of juice or lingonberry syrup. They have 2 sizes of bottles too.

  7. J says:

    Love everything mid century,,,,,One time you had a big green outdoor plant like an evergreen near your front door/porch and it was a herb. Maybe rosemary,,,how is it doing? Or did I miss that post? [How is this for a question sort of like how is your soda stream?]

  8. Stephbo says:

    Can’t kill them, eh?

    Hold my beer. 😜

  9. whitequeen96 says:

    A moisture meter! What a wonderful invention – never heard of one before. Bought one from Amazon immediately! (Through your link of course.) I tend to over water my plants, but maybe they’ll have a chance now!

  10. Vanessa Johnston says:

    I killed a staghorn; I dont even know how.

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