Category Archives: Potted Plants

August 13, 2015


A sad-looking potted succulent.

That was my Giveaway today on my walk in the evening. It is also probably a reflection of my state of mind after another challenging day of Summer Break.

Continue reading August 13, 2015


May 29, 2015

I have noticed with this blog that some days that are really good because they are full of activities and people aren’t always the best days for my Giveaway. Today began with an enjoyable chat over coffee and then my first successful yoga class in a couple of months (I could almost breathe normally again). I wrote an article and then managed lunch with my best friend Lynn, after which I headed to Theo’s schools to sort out some business with his teacher, came home to go through emails and then picked him up at karate. Not my most impressive day professionally, but a full one nonetheless. At no point during that day did I manage a Giveaway, mostly because I had already given things to the people I was with and didn’t want to repeat. However, by the evening I was running out of options, so I turned to the garden.


We have a rather large jade plant, also known as a money tree or a friendship tree in an odd spot at the top of our back yard. When we were growing up in Scotland, we always thought this plant was rather exotic and tropical, but here in Southern California, they seem almost ordinary. I realized the other day that I could make cuttings from our jade plant, transplant them in cute little pots and give them to people as cute little gifts representing friendship or fortune. This evening, lacking in inspiration, I chose to keep things simple. I walked down the street and left a jade plant in a cute little blue glass pot on top of a bright yellow fire hydrant with a note saying “Free Jade Plant.” Hopefully by now it’s adding a touch of the exotic and symbolic to an otherwise ordinary kitchen table.

April 12, 2015

Today wasn’t a terribly sociable day. A friend stopped by in the morning, then we hung out mostly at home in the morning. For lunch, we went to a rotating Japanese sushi restaurant in Little Tokyo and then Theo took an extra karate class and stopped by the toy store. It wasn’t a dull day, but it didn’t include a lot of opportunities for giving things away, mainly because I was low on energy and imagination. I used what little I had of both of those qualities to get through those family activities and to write an article that is due tomorrow. I also had to get ready for tomorrow, a day that will begin very early (5am) because Theo’s class is flying up to Sacramento for a 4th grade field trip. I’m tagging along.

All this to say that, come 7pm, I had not given anything away. Luckily, from my desk I can see into the garden and I had a perfect view of a rosemary plant that I had pulled out and transplanted into a small pot during an energetic moment yesterday. Aha, I thought! Perhaps I can perform an act of guerilla giving with this plant. So, I scribbled a “Free Rosemary” sign (strangely enough, not actually the first one of those I’ve ever made!), took the sign and the potted plant up the stairs to the top of our garden and through the gate onto the street above our property. I placed it in a spot that is visible to both pedestrians and cars and headed home, deed done. Not the most riveting story of giving, but probably my most fragrant so far. I can still smell the rosemary on my hands…


March 13, 2015

I enjoy my morning walks along the reservoir with Jane, a fellow Brit and fellow mum with two kids at the same school as my son Theo. Jane and her husband Max are animators, but Jane has scaled back her work over the years to focus on her kids, as many professional women do. But although we do spend a good chunk of our walking time discussing the kids, their educational and emotional issues, we manage to cover quite a broad range of subjects on our walks, from aspects of life back in the UK, diseases, the digestive system and other medical topics (Jane is incredibly knowledgeable about things medical as her mum is a nurse and she herself had considered becoming a doctor). Today, for a change of pace, we mulled over the fundamental differences between ISIS and Al-Qaeda. Our kids are in different years at school, so Jane and I probably wouldn’t have met had she and her family not attended a special event for our school at the museum where my origami was being exhibited three years ago. However, we became close when she and her family were also forced to suddenly move out of their home where they had lived for the last 18 years, not because of a fire like us, but because they were evicted by a landlord who likely wanted more rent for the property. We had just moved a few months before and had left-over boxes, so I happily gave them to Jane and Max, who need lots of them after 18 years of living there and very little time to cull their belongings.


Today during our walk, the subject of my blog came up and I mentioned I’d like to give her something. She laughed and suggested that if I did it might get lost in all their stuff. So I promised to be really thoughtful about what I chose for her and resigned myself to taking more time over my choice. However, when I was pottering around in our garden this afternoon, I realized that she might like something for her garden, something useful that would make her garden feel more like home. We have an abundant supply of mint, which I’ve started pulling up and replanting in some of the extra pots that we have sitting around in the garden, so I texted her first and asked her if she had any mint in her garden yet. When she replied that she hadn’t got around to planting it yet, but was planning on keeping it contained in a pot, I rushed out into the garden and planted some for her in good-sized pot. When I dropped it off at her newish home, she took the pot, rubbed the mint between her fingers and held them up to her nose. “It smells just like my childhood garden,” she called out as she hugged the pot in her arms and carried it through the front door.