Posts Tagged ‘Spathiphyllum’

The benefits and clean air of a good Spathiphyllum.

March 12, 2018

IMG_0001Helvi

If health and breathing clean fresh air is your aim, look no further than filling your house with the easy to grow Spathiphyllum, also known as Peace lily or even Madonna lily. We have always had those very graceful plants filling our homes. They are in every room in our house.  The latest count  has twelve with about half of them flowering. It is not just a beautiful easy to grow plant with graceful leaves and tall strong flowers, but this plant also has the benefit of filtering the air of many toxins.

The Spathiphyllum is the only plant together with the flamingo plant or Anthurium that are known to remove many toxic agents including Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene,  Xylene and Ammonia. I don’t know about you dear readers, but there is nothing as unwelcome than finding Formaldehyde hiding under your pillow, or Xylene in your lentil soup. There has always been a rather lackadaisical  attitude towards dust in Australia, even a good humoured tolerance, (think of all the asbestos houses) but with the advent of toxins including nerve agents now invading park benches in the UK one would be well advised to take nothing for granted and try and grow a few Spathiphyllum.

Nothing is safe anymore, not even in Australia, a country which is generally perceived as having a lovely sleepy ambiance with plenty of Lebensraum. Patrons at Zizzi restaurant in UK’s Salisbury, on the other hand, are now alerted and advised to wash everything they wore while dining out at that place during the nerve agent attack. A robust response is needed and special attention is focussed to thoroughly clean or throw out everything, even jewellery, that was worn during the ingestion of the pizza or eye fillet at Zizzis. Some of the furniture has now been burnt and I imagine many patrons being a bit nervous to eat there now, let alone sit down.

As you can see from the above photo, nothing is left to chance. Peace lilies feature everywhere. We actually have five in our kitchen-sitting area alone. And if those lilies are not enough to keep things clean, on the left-hand bottom corner you can see my own Hoover ‘Freedom’ at quiet repose, but not for long.  Soon, that equipment will be out foraging crannies and corners  with the help of its hepa filter and remove any particles that escaped the peace lily.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study

Think about it!

The story does have to include a disclaimer. The removal of mustard gas or any other nerve poison might not get removed by this plant. It would be preposterous to make that claim.

This is just an encouragement to include the lushness of the outside garden indoors. There is just nothing better than to be surrounded by greenery. We have plants in the bathrooms, on the stairs, everywhere. Herbs live on the kitchen bench. There is just nothing more satisfying than to have a tomato garnished by basil from the kitchen bench, or a curry improved by home-grown coriander.

One of those Week-Ends

April 20, 2013

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One of those week-ends

Even though half of the week-end had passed, I dreaded the next half. All day it was all over the media about the two brothers allegedly responsible for the planting of explosives that killed three people including a young boy. Hundreds of millions world- wide were glued to their Apps and Iphones getting the latest. The two brothers are supposed to be ethnic Chechen who arrived in America aged about 7 and 12.They grew up in America. Some years later they plant bombs! What happened in between? One could ask the same about the man responsible for the massacre at Sandy Hook; what happened? They used to be lovely little boys not long ago. I suppose Klara thought the same of her little boy, Adolf.

I decided to (resolutely) to try and shake my gloom by taking a walk with my wife and our incorrigible Jack Russell ‘Milo’ to our little river at the back of our complex of eight town-houses. I call them ‘units’ but some also refer to them with the rather more grandiose name of ‘villas’! Coming from Europe, I hesitate to call them villas seeing they don’t resemble anything one would find facing the sea at Monaco or the waterfront French Riviera with 50 metres of swimming pools and helipads with Portuguese maids dressed in white uniforms serving Dom Perignon in tall stemmed glasses.

Years ago soon after arrival in Sydney and aged 15 I was desperate to investigate a Sydney suburb named ‘Palm Beach’. Having grown up in Holland and seen the occasional movie with waving palms and people lounging in hammocks while sipping from a coconut with skimpily dressed Hawaiian girls swanning about I was desperate to soak up and make real my vision of waving palms. I thought the hoola girls can come later as a concession to a possible disappointment. (Even then there were already creeping in shadows of doubt or negativity about my possible unrealistically enlarged projections of fantasized distant futures, dreams or visions.)

I was right to be skeptical; not one fucking palm. I walked along and noticed a garden facing the sea. It had a profusion of white peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) which I knew in Holland to be tropical indoor plants. I can still see my dad bending over them with a small watering can. I thought, well, at least something tropical at last. But…here my skepticism and previous negativity came to the rescue once more; on touching them, leaning over the white picket fence, ( just like dad bending over his indoor plants) they turned out to be plastic. Can you believe people spending time to plant plastic greenery? What sort of country had my dad migrated to with locals having the hide to call their suburb Palm Beach with no Palms and gilding the Lily as well? I have found out that the English speaking world is somewhat over-generous with naming things that are only just skirting along the edges of ‘truth’. They sell fresh-cream apple pies with the cream oozing out being a grainy mock cream and the apple probably plastic grown at someone’s Palm Beach garden. They advertise ‘free gifts’. Electrical shops are named “Good Guys”!

The walk along our little river or bubbling brook is always a restorative event. Milo goes berserk sniffing out the ducks while nervously cocking his hind legs alternatively every few metres. He is clearly eternally optimistic in breaking loose and murdering a nice duck, no matter how strong the leash is, he jumps around and is  enjoying jumping and bucking about. I don’t allow him his duck but as a concession to murder, I will let him loose at the church yard where he  chases the occasional wild rabbit and even killed one. Rabbits are in plague proportions, so…

Good boy Milo.., Good boy.