Greening Your Cubicle

My nickname at one of my freelance jobs is “Ruby,” given by a friend/colleague in deference to my seemingly Southern girl’s preference for drinking from a big mason jar, and searching for pen and important papers amidst the green foliage overwhelming my desk.  Though I did live in the south (Tennessee) for a few, formative years, I’m a Northwestern girl at heart, and grew up Oregonian, taking for granted the overarching evergreens, snow-capped mountains in the distance, and a cherry-plum tree in my backyard.

My office cubicle changes every few months. Decorative baubles are a luxury; like a nomad, I travel light. My desk is a zen space to hold my favorite coffee mug, a collection of pens, laptop, and Lucille and Frank, two of my plants.

You name (and talk to) your plants, too, right? Ahem… right? In Modern Farmer’s Spring 2013 issue (, Jeanne Carstensen writes about the history of chatting up our plants. It makes sense to want to communicate with them, she writes, as “without plants, humans and animals could not survive.”  The article references new research that plants have a sensual life, and are “acutely aware of the world around them,” as Daniel Chamovitz, author of the book What a Plant Knows, states.

Are you a plant-whisperer?  Do your colleagues wonder how you grow such beautiful greens under the harsh fluorescent lights of your office complex? Is your home office a greenhouse? Share your secrets in the comments below:  Is your office a jungle? What’s your favorite indoor vegetation? How do you bring the outside in?

Share how you’ve greened your office: tweet photos to @thecityfarm!


Photo credits: Clockwise, from left top:

1. Terrarium work desk

2. Living Table, by Nothing Design Group, Apartment Therapy

3. Cubicle: Kathy Turner on Pinterest

4. Healthier Office Spaces,