As a series that has existed until now over on my instagram page, I wanted to create a space on my blog to share my ‘documentary’ photos that show new leaves un-furling. There is something magical about this process — from that initial excitement in noticing the beginnings of new growth to the durational opening up of foliage, flower, or frond. The durations can vary widely depending on the plant which forces me (us) to tune into these slower rhythms + this practice of patience. Each plant has its own characteristic process of revealing the emergence of new growth so the posts in this series will share a variety of my houseplant collection through this optic.
As a brief tangent I wanted to mention a book I enjoyed when writing my PhD (which coincidentally, was partly about durational practices — albeit from a very different context) by French philosopher Henri Lefebvre called Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time + Everyday life which addresses the rhythms that are around us; the cyclical linear rhythms of both natural + urban space combined with our own biorhythms. We can train ourselves to becomes attuned to these rhythms + it is in this way that I find myself reflecting on this writing when photographing my plants in a durational way like this.
When I share these collections of images on instagram they often are in video form (as an amalgamation of stills that is, not a time-lapse) so I wanted to share an alternative perspective here on HOUSEPLANTHOUSE+ show the stills that make up these pieces. I think it’s important to say here that I don’t use a tripod or try to replicate the framing in any exact way, this is a personal choice and feel it adds a dynamism to the series. I shoot these using an Olympus PEN EPL9.
This is the process of the newest leaf unfurling on my ‘little’ monstera; I obsessively photographed my plant over 16 days and this is what it looked like:
I’m quite sure that there are lots of us that photograph our plants regularly (if the instagram plant community is anything to go by!) so if you would like to share your photos with me, you can use either of these tags below to do so:
If you also obsessively photograph your plants in general then the tag above is one for you + if you also like to keep a track on a new leaf opening up (it can be via still images or time-lapse video!) you can use this one below:
On that note, I was talking to someone the other day about my aspidistra hashtag + it occurred to me that the origins of hashtags are not always very clear on social media so here’s an updated round up of tags you can use (or explore) to be part of the HOUSEPLANTHOUSE community online:
Hope you enjoyed slowing down a little + enjoyed seeing the process of my new monstera leaf opening up recently. I can report that it’s now hardened + doesn’t have that ‘new leaf green‘ anymore, just regular, beautiful ‘monstera‘ green that I love a lot — one of my favourite viridescent shades for sure! Stay safe,