If you go around malls and interior decoration shops and boutiques, you will notice that fortune plants — a favorite indoor plant because they require little maintenance — are often placed in glass vases (or crystal in high-end shops). Pebbles are placed on the bottom of the vase, the stalks of fortune plant are inserted into the pebbles then water is poured in. For those who like more color, some shops sell “jelly” (in red, blue, green, yellow, purple…) that contains water. The jelly cubes are used in place of the pebbles and there is no need to add water. Just change the jelly when they dry up. Of course, that makes the set-up more expensive since the jelly will have to changed every few weeks (months, some say) or so. But for those who want to offset the transparency of glass vases with bright colors, it’s a viable option.
I love fortune plants but I find the glass vases a little too ordinary. Well, unless I can find something with a really unique shape that’ll make it one of a kind. What I really prefer is the combination of lightly-glazed clay jars and greens. I call them “clay jars” because based on porosity, there are technical differences between earthenware, terracotta and stoneware, and I don’t know how to tell the difference simply by looking at them.
So, anyway, I have a set of clay jars in graduated sizes. The original plan was to put thin bamboo sticks in them but, yesterday, I found these stalks of fortune plant that were just the right height and thickness for the smallest (18 inches high) of the three clay jars.
The problem, of course, is that the clay jar is porous. The body is glazed but even clay jar sellers will tell you that they aren’t intended to hold water. I don’t want to take the risk and wake up one morning to flooded floors. Still, I was really, smitten with the idea of bright green stalks of fortune plant sticking out of a clay jar. I did some quick thinking and came up with an idea.
I got a plastic bag as deep as the height of the jar. I pushed a plastic bag into the clay jar so that the bag’s opening was still hanging around the jar’s mouth. I asked the house helper to hold the plastic bag while I poured about three glasses of water into it. Then, I took the stalks of fortune plant and put them in the bag in the jar. Then, I slowly pushed everything in, tucking in the top of the bag so that the plastic doesn’t unless you scrutinize.
Of course, while I was accomplishing this extraordinary feat, Speedy and the girls were looking at me like Boy, she’s really crazy! Well, I solved the problem, didn’t I?