Monday 26 April 2021

The Plant Diaries - April 2021

Hello and welcome to the first instalment of the plant diaries! As an avid collector of rare and unusual house plants, I wanted to start doing some more regular posting about new growth, new plants and new plant related discoveries to help keep my house plants happy. Given that these are for indoor plants, I’ll probably do these posts every 2-3 months or so, but may ramp up in the Summer months when my collection is more active.

For my new additions I’ll try and link or state where they came from, as some of these can be rather difficult to find and get hold of, so hopefully it’ll help some fellow collectors find a seller for their wish list plants!


New Growth

It’s the time of year where everything starts to come to life, and new leaves are popping up all over the place and here are some of my favourites!


Syngonium Podophyllum Variegata

My most rapid grower (regardless of the time of year) is hands down my Albo Syngonium, also known as an Arrowhead Plant. This plant has given me absolutely no trouble since I got it as a partially rooted cutting back in January this year. I put in a mix of moss and perlite to allow it to grow some more roots and it’s been there ever since. I’ll be re-potting it soon into proper soil, which I’ll chat about in a bit.

It was actually my intention to cut this one at its next leaf to start growing out a new plant to propagate and sell from, but as the latest leaf is a beautiful half-moon, I don’t really want to part with it. Not that it really matters, at its current rate of growth I can revisit the idea in 6 weeks or so, when I’ll hopefully have new node to cut and grow from.  


Syngonium Mojito

Unlike my other Syngonoum, this one has actually been a bit of a pain for me. I got it back in March, and it wasn’t all that happy when it arrived. It’s one and only leaf shrivelled up and died within days and I was left with a little stump to care for.


Thinking it was going to slowly die, I left it in its little plastic cup and put it in the back of my cabinet and forgot about it. Since then it grew a new leaf, which then also died, but THEN it’s next leaf survived. It’s now slowly working on a second, and there is a healthy amount of root growth going on as well. I always root plants and cuttings in clear plastic cups so that I can spy on the roots without disturbing them, as pulling the plant in and out of whatever you are rooting in can cause stress and slow down their progress.


Caladium Rosebud

I have a few varieties of Caladium that I planted as bulbs back in March, and the first little leaf has finally appeared from the Rosebud! These plants are seasonal, so they’ll go dormant in the winter, but if all of the leaves are as beautiful as this one that’s absolutely fine with me!


To make sure I didn’t have and duds I actually got a few of each variety of bulb when I brought these as a pre-order from Farmer Gracy, however, not a single one has failed to sprout which is very pleasing. I currently have three different types (with some duplicates) so my windowsill will look stunning in no time!


Variegated Monstera

This little guy didn’t do much when I first got it. In fact it didn’t do anything for about 4 months or so. It has recently sprung to life, and has gone from a one leaf plant, to have just unfurled its fourth leaf, which is not quite hardened off yet. This will have to go on a moss pole soon to allow it to start climbing, which in turn should result in larger leaves, that will start to show fenestration and look like a more typical Monstera.


Anthurium Silver Blush

I brought this plant as a one leaf cutting a little while ago, and then when the new leaf was coming in, disaster struck. I only went and knocked it off its shelf, and smashed a hole in the emerging leaf. Luckily, it seems to have forgiven me, and whilst that leaf will be forever battered, a new one is now coming through. There’s also some crazy root growth for this one, to the point that I’m going to have to re-pot it soon.

New Additions

I’ve had some rather exciting new additions recently. One of these was quite high up on my wish list, and was also quite hard to find so I’m very pleased to have tracked it down.


Philodendron Melanochrysum

This was the easiest of my new plants to track down, as they are starting to become a little more common now – relatively speaking. This lovely Melano was purchased from the Facebook group ‘When_Children_Sleep’, which is run by the lovely Tereza. She always have a fantastic stock of hard to find plants, but they go extreamly quick. I’m talking seconds from when she posts them. I also got my Silver Blush from Tereza, which I could not find anywhere for love nor money.


Anthurium Warocqueanum

Probably my most ‘advanced’ plant in my collection, I got this plant as a pre-order from ‘Rock’N’Roll Jungle’ and it arrived last week.


Also known as a Queen Anthurium, these plants a known for being rather demanding, and require insanely high levels of humidity. This plant actually has its very own shelf in the cabinet, sat next to the humidifier with its very own fan, and the humidity tends to sit above 90%. The fan is positioned in such a way that it wafts some of the humidifier steam into the upper levels of the cabinet, although I still need to install some more fans in the other levels for airflow.


Wish list editions

I’ve had a few plants appear on my wish list recently, which I feel deserve a mention – let’s see how quickly I can tick them off!


Cercestis Mirabilis – I’ve already seen that Tereza has some of these, so I’ll start saving money so that I can (try to_ grab one when it comes up.


Syngonium Oem Nak – Tereza also appears to have some of these as well, so I feel like there are a few purchases to come her way in the future!


Anthurium Red Crystallinum – I spotted this while scrolling through Instagram, and at the moment I know nothing about it, other than that the image was stunning. I’m hoping it’s not a case of it being a photo shopped image, although if it’s real I can imagine it won’t come cheap.  


Plant related purchases

As far as plant related purchases go, there has been a few of these as well!


Soil Ninja

I got several different types of pre-made soil mixes, as well as some individual products such as worm castings and charcoal. I’ve only put a few plants into the mixes, but so far, everything I’ve transferred has absolutely loved it.


Having got a few different types of mixes, I’ll be using the Soil Ninja mix for my Albo Syngonium, as the roots are starting to escape from the bottom of the pot.

Ultrasonic Mini Humidifier

This was a rushed purchase, because I HAD to get a humidity solution before my Queen Anthurium arrived, however, it’s been great so far. Something that is very useful is the wire size. Its small enough to go in the cabinet and have the door closed on it without interfering with the door or leaving a massive gap. The cabinet is made of metal and glass, so I’m very grateful to have not had to try and drill holes in it quite yet – although this is the long term plan.


There are two down sides about this humidifier. The first is that it can’t work on a timer, but for the price I paid for it I wouldn’t really expect it to. The second is that when refilling and screwing the top back on it misses the thread very easily, so it can be a little frustrating when trying to screw the top back on. This runs all of the time, and gets refilled daily with filtered water.



That all sums up the April Plant Diaries. I actually have a plant being sent to me tomorrow, and my other two variety of Caladium will be popping out leaves very soon, as will m Pink Princess, so I’ll probably be doing another post for May.


I hope you enjoyed the post, let me know what you thought in the comments!


Friday 16 April 2021

Moi-meme Monthly - The Bloom Box - April 2021

I know, it’s been a rather long time since I did a Moi-meme box review – I’m sorry Moi-meme, it’s not you, it’s me – but with how fabulous this month’s box was I thought it was about time that I brought these posts back. After all, I’ve been loving my box deliveries all the way through lockdown, and they bring me joy every time I have one land on my doorstep. Heck, even my husband is jealous, and is on the hunt for a subscription box of his own – on that note, if anyone knows of any Viking themed subscription boxes, pop them in a comment below!


Anyway, the box for the month of April was ‘The Bloom Box’ which is so very appropriate for this time of year. We usually get three items in the monthly box, this this time around we got four (bonus), so I’ll not delay, and go through what I received in my box!



Lisa Angel Planter

I think this was the highlight of this month’s box for me. Some of you may know that a hobby of mine is collecting rare and exotic plants, and therefore I am always on the lookout for pots. Decorative pots tend to not have any drainage, which is the case with this one. However, that is easily solved by putting your plant in a regular plastic plant pot, and then placing that pot into a pretty planter like this one. I makes life easier when it comes to repotting too!


This stunning white pot features black like drawings of a face surrounded by leaves, and comes with a pretty gold stand to give it a little bit of height. This makes it perfect for trailing plants such as string of hearts or string of turtles, but I think it would look great with just about any plant in it!


Seedball Seed Box

What good is a planter with nothing to go in it? The next item in my box was this cute little seedball matchbox. Contained within the little balls of clay is a blend of wildflower seeds, specifically chosen to help out a certain creature. The creature each matchbox is catered too is illustrated on the front of the box – so as you can see, mine is butterflies. To use, you simply sprinkle the clay balls onto some soil and water them.


The seeds should start to germinate within 2-4 weeks, which is pretty standard for most seeds. I probably won’t keep this, given the volume of plants I currently have, but we have a community seed box where I live, where people can drop off seeds for other people to take. The kids in the area seem to love it so I’ll probably take these there so that someone can get some joy out of them.


Purity Natural Beauty Pink Clay Mask

Pink clay masks are popular for a reason. They are fantastic for detoxifying the skin, minimising pores, reducing inflammation and drawing out impurities, plus, in my experience they tend to not be overly harsh on the skin.


This particular mask has a cool little feature, and that is that the label can be planted, yes planted and the seeds within will eventually grow to produce flowers. The jar itself appears to be made of glass, so it’s nice that Purity have clearly put a lot of thought into their packaging choices.


Salcombe Dairy Milk Chocolate Rose

As usual this month’s box came with a sweet treat to enjoy, and this one matched perfectly to the overall theme and feel of this month’s box. Made in Devon, this chocolate bar is made from 48% Peruvian cacao, and is delicately infused with Rose Oil, aligning it perfectly with the overall floral theme of the Bloom Box.


Apparently Salcombe Dairy are more famous for their ice cream than their chocolate, but obviously it isn’t possible for Moi-meme to include ice-cream in their boxes! As per the norm for me, this bar was gone not long after I took my photos, and had a pleasant light flavour with hints of Turkish delight.



I think it’s safe to say I really enjoyed this box, and if anything was going to get my back into the swing of writing these monthly post, this box is most certainly the one! Thank you Moi-meme for a fabulous box and perfect way to kick off the Spring!


Do you subscribe to Moi-meme or have any subscription boxes?


Monday 12 April 2021 / Norwich, UK

Sustainable Period Products - ‘Intimina Lily cup’

Something I’ve had interest in trying for a while now, is sustainable period products. On average, an individual can use as many as 10,000 tampons through their lifetime, which is a huge amount of waste, that I don’t particularly want to contribute to if I can help it. Especially when you consider that figure is ‘average’ and there will no doubt be those who far exceed this number.


A quick warning before you read on; this post is about period cups and my experience in using them. Therefore if the subject of periods, blood or menstruation bother you in any way, please feel free to stop reading here.


The idea of ‘period pants’ in place of a pad is off-putting for me, as someone who doesn’t really like using pads. Therefore it made more sense that I search for a substitute for what I typically use, which is tampons. This of course led me to menstrual cups, so when I spotted some while doing my food shop I decided to grab one and give it a try.


I went for the ‘Intimina Lily cup’ which retails for £19.99 and comes with a small plastic case to store your cup when you aren’t using it. Having trialled for the duration of my most recent two periods, as well as a little research into them, here is what I have found;


The Cons


For me, the whole process of emptying, cleaning and reinserting the cup take longer than changing a tampon or pad would. However, you can wear it for up to 12 hours, so you only need to do this twice a day – although this is dependent on flow, a heavier flow may require more regular empting of the cup. I would imagine it’s one of those things where the more you do it, the quicker and easier it gets.


Removal is messy, and I would say that having a sink in close proximity to your toilet is essential. I would certainly avoid emptying at work or while out in public somewhere. I’m personally not squeamish, especially not when it comes to my own blood, but those that are will probably dislike the process.


I’ve read that these can interfere with IUDs which makes no difference to me personally as my chosen method of contraception is an implant in my arm, but those with an IUD will want to bear this in mind.


Younger people or those with intact hymens should be aware that using a cup has the potential to rupture the hymen. They may also find a cup uncomfortable.


Ensuring the cup is inserted correctly takes some practice, and it took me a day or so to work out a method that worked for me and was comfortable. The same can be said for removal.



The Pro’s


Once in correctly, the claims that it is comfortable are true; you can’t even feel it. Unlike a tampon if you get it wrong you can try again as many times as you need to, rather than having to bin it and move on to the next one.


As the cups are made of medical grade silicone, you are not inserting chemicals into your body. A lot of tampons are bleached to achieve their white colouring, and due to their absorbent nature can cause dryness and irritation. Tampons can also leave behind small fibres which again, can cause irritation.


Depending on your cup, some can apparently last up to 10 years with proper cleaning and storage, which is pretty impressive if you ask me. It would seem the majority of cups have a lifespan of around 2 years (again with proper cleaning and storage), which is still pretty impressive, and makes the price worth it when you consider the use you can get out of them.


It is very easy to clean by rinsing under the tap. It is recommended that you sterilise your cup at the beginning and end of each cycle, which again, is easy to do. I have purchased two, as my periods sometimes last up to two weeks and I want the ability to be able to properly sterilise the cups as they'll be used for a longer period than normal.


I went for the smallest cup available (in Sainsbury’s), which is a good fit for me personally, but I can see trying to find a size that works for you could be a bit of a pain for some, especially as you obviously can’t exchange them once used.


It’s better for the environment! One cup every few years vs a few hundred tampons a year is a massive difference, and vastly reduces the waste generated by disposable sanitary products.  


They are cheaper in the long run. Sure, a cup typically costs more than a box of tampons, but given how long they last you should only need to purchase one every few years.


Some possibilities


There is some speculation that using a cup instead of say, a tampon, can shorten your period and help reduce cramps. However, there has been no clinical research into this, and so it remains speculation.


I will say however, that during the two periods I trialled my cup, my menstrual cramps were less painful than usual, and the second period was a little shorter. This could be a fluke however, or simply be that that particular period was less painful than they normally are, and that the other one just happened to end a little faster. It will be interesting to see if this remains the case with continued use.


My verdict


Having trialled my cup I have to say, I would highly recommend trying them. They take a little while to get used to, so I’m glad I decided to trial it while I’m working from home, but once you’ve worked it out they are really easy to use.

If they are something you have been debating, I would certainly recommend giving them a go. You haven't got anything to lose, aside from some cash.

Have you tried a period cup before? What was your experience?                                              


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