While I've been quite out of the loop with the Botany Greenhouse and indoor plants in general (minus the few houseplants in my room that are surviving well with neglect), it's still a treat to visit and support my colleagues in these kinds of endeavors as it's always so encouraging to see young students take an interest in growing plants.
I came kind of late (damn Filipino stereotype, I swear...ugh), but I was delighted to see a line-up of students with their friends, significant others and family holding their own glass containers waiting for a scoop of potting mix, their choice of plants materials ranging from tiny sellaginellas (spike mosses), miniature African violets, and various little ferns and clippings of plants that will fit in their little greenhouse and, finally, a thorough misting to complete their own little garden they can keep on their desk and/or windowsill of their small apartment or dorm room.
It was a perfect idea to engage people with plants FOR FREE!! It was a great way to reuse an old glass jar or container that's probably lying around and the extra little bits of plants from the Botany Greenhouse were actually put to use rather than being just chucked to the compost bin and it really is a way for students to really have some sort of plant life in their busy day-to-day lives. They had a great assembly line going spearheaded by my friends, Terry Huang and Jeff Benca who are both biology students and uber plant geeks that regularly volunteer at the greenhouse.
It was great to see that they had a pretty good turn out and people seemed genuinely interested and even excited about getting something for free that was unique, creative, and something they could call their own to care for and nurture. They got full instructions on how to care of their terrarium and no one really worried about them dying and the handful that did actually realized that it didn't really matter; it didn't cost them a thing!
I think it's simple things like this event is what we need more of. It brings a community (big or small) together and it gets them talking and everyone is there to learn. It's one of those initial hooks to get the younger generation to start thinking about plants.
Oh, and probably the most unique composition was this little sci-fi vignette with an X-Files theme!