In From the G&H Desk, we share personal stories from our team of their experiences in the garden and around the home. Madison is the G&H Digital Editor and lover of all things gardening. 

I chose to go to a University close enough to home, but not at home, to have the best of both worlds. This was great for my first year, when I sorely missed home and jumped in my car for the 6 hour drive every chance I could get. However, as a began to settle in, a new problem emerged. You know how everyone tells you to travel before you have kids, because it becomes ten times harder or basically impossible after you do? No one warned me that it applies to plant children too.

I spent most of my first year enthusiastically stocking up on houseplants, planting up herb gardens and collecting masses of succulents from the local farmers market without any consideration for the end of year holiday. I was having the time of my life, with a new plant every weekend. My ultimate goal was an indoor forest. Then December hit me square in the face with a huge dilemma – how on earth do I neglect my plants for two months and still keep them alive?

As every gardener knows, the answer is – you don’t. And I just couldn’t live with that outcome. I put my heart and soul into keeping these plants alive and squealed at the sight of every new leaf, and now I was just supposed to let them die? 

I ran through all the options. Give them to a friend to take care of? Unfortunately, my inability to make new friends (maybe that says something about my plant addiction) meant the only friends I did have were from high school and all going back home in December too. Leave them outside and hope the rain is enough? My distinct lack of outdoor space answered that one for me pretty quickly. 

There was only one option left. I had to take them all with me. 

When the time came to drive home, I had to inform my friends that alas, they could not carpool with me this time, as my plants were coming instead. I started packing the night before and loaded about eight large pots onto the backseat, leaving the many smaller ones for the morning. Once they were all strapped in, including a few in the cupholders and one on the front seat, I began my journey down the N3 with a literal forest in the back of my car. 

Packed to the roof, I barrelled down the highway a mirage of green, inviting confused looks from all drivers around me. Stopping for petrol or a snack was most entertaining, although no one dare ask me why on earth my car was filled with plants at the risk of starting a conversation with a deranged lunatic. On arrival, I unpacked my little friends first and found them homes for their two-month holiday. I may have had to vacuum up some dirt and get rid of a few ants. But, as we all know, a dirty car is inevitable when traveling with kids. 

They managed to all stay (relatively) alive through that traumatic experience, and even made some new friends that had to come back with us on the way up.

Need tips to keep your houseplants alive while you’re on holiday? Read more here. 

Featured image: Sanni Sahil via Unsplash