Euphorbia Splendens

I noticed this morning that our Euphorbia Splendens – crown of thorns – has decided to bloom. It’s a happy houseplant that doesn’t ask much, and it’s small, custard-colored blooms are pretty and resilient.

My mom always had a crown of thorns among her collection of houseplants. She had several different kinds of houseplants – she still does – but the crown of thorns she kept when I was a child never appealed to me. It didn’t help that my mom never got the hang of houseplant care beyond the occasional watering. She, like a lot of people, lets her houseplants get really dirty and dusty; a habit I can’t stand.

Plants, like people, are porous. They need to breathe, just like us. Letting dust, pet dander, and general filth form a film on houseplants is not just harmful, but it ruins the beauty of plants.

The occasional rinse with fresh water (just place the plant in the sink and let the spray run over it) not only gives a houseplant a deep watering (feed the plant with a balanced fertilizer while you’re at it), it gives it a nice shower. After it’s all clean and pretty again, I promise it will be a better houseplant.

Anyway, I had no love for the Euphorbia Splendens until, a few years ago, during my one and only visit to a chiropractor, I sat in the waiting room and marveled at her collection of Euphorbia Splendens.

Some were 6 feet tall. They had all developed a tall, gangly yet graceful form that amazed me. I thought they were gorgeous. They were handsomely potted, clean, and obviously well- cared for. That changed my mind about Euphorbia Splendens for good.

The crown of thorns we have in our kitchen is a far cry from the poor, neglected, dust-covered plant in the cheap plastic pot that my mom kept in the house. A loved and cared-for plant beautifies your life and living space, while a neglected plant or collection of plants is ugly and saps everyone’s energy.

Let me tell you about the dinner I made last night. Vegan tempeh souvlaki with homemade cashew cream tzatziki, cucumber, onion, and dill, all in a grilled pita. I would have included tomato if our garden tomatoes were ripe. It was amazing. Cashew cream has become one of my favorite vegan foods. Easy to make and completely satisfying, it substitutes for anything from sour cream to whipped cream (sweetened) to tzatziki. Good stuff. Even the dogs wanted some.

Lookie lookie:

The Buddhist retreat is this weekend. I’ve been looking forward to this all summer. Slow, contemplative time in which to learn and grow and fellowship with the Buddhist community here in Connecticut. So psyched.

Much love,
Barbie xo

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