Take Your Houseplants for a Walk

If Salvatorian Sisters took their plants for a walk, would they tie a string around the pot and stroll around the neighborhood? Or hold it in their arms and introduce it to their neighbors and friends? For the somewhat quirky “Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day”, we dug a little deeper into the relationships our sisters have with the plants in their care.

Sister Patrice Colletti, says she only grows plants that don’t die easily and even so, sometimes it can be touch and go.

“Spider plants, philodendron, some type of plant that looks like a pine tree, and a nearly immortal croton someone gave me as a gift four or more years ago. It consistently surprises me that these plants not only stay alive, but propagate. Of course, I guess the propagation could be a sign of desperation … they COULD be trying to get their next generation going before collapsing from exhaustion!”

Sister Rita Vogelsang admits she can only handle one or two plants at a time, while Sister Karlyn Cauley’s garden helps feed an entire senior community.

“I have planted cherry, small grape tomatoes and basil plants for the past eight years at Hadley Terrace Senior Apartments. Last year, with another resident’s gardening skills, the garden was so great that people in the neighborhood thought it was a community garden and they helped themselves! We had to post that the vegetables were for the residents who live here.

“Gardening gives me time to be outdoors in nature, relishing the weather, hoping for rain that soaks the garden, and especially for ‘playing in the mud’.”

At age 92, Sister Jane Barman, now limits her green thumb to windowsill gardening. “This year I have two violets  ̶  one white and one red; three spider plants; two Christmas cacti  ̶  one white and one pink; and a huge philodendron.

“To keep my windowsill garden alive and well I have to remember to water them and watch for unwanted visitors. My windowsill garden gives me something to care for and sometimes to talk to.”

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