Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pensive Tuesday: Running Out of Space!

No, I'm not talking about how I've run out of window space for my mesemb and cacti collections, or how my Tillies have taken over their end table and are demanding a second, bigger table. That's for another post, and it's not very pensive. Today I'm thinking about how many of our current population of 7 billion people are running out of space to live, especially in the mega-cities, and what to do about it, seeing as how another 2 billion may join us.

"Hot City"- Marla Rob

It's especially tight over in Asia, but some creative minds are doing some amazing things. You'll really enjoy this short YouTube video from "World's Greenest Homes" of how a Hong Kong architect, Gary Chang, has made a beautiful, spacious life for himself in a 344-square-foot apartment:


The Tiny House Blog has a lot of ideas for living small all over the world; it's fun to check out. When I watched this video and read the blog, I couldn't help but think how perfect our miniature mesemb collections are for small-space living.  I have over a dozen Lithops on one tiny shelf top, and about 20 various mesembs on an equally small window shelf. Several dozen cacti grace a sunny windowsill. If I were handier with carpentry, I could easily build a multi-shelf unit and fit in many dozens more! And if I weren't too lazy to use a ladder, I could fit about 50 more on my highest windowsills. With mesembs, cacti, and even Tillies, space for a Victorian-style greenhouse isn't necessary:

For those in less sunny climates, or whose light is blocked by other buildings and such, artificial lights are pretty cheap and easy to use.  The benefits are bountiful, and cost meager, and just about anyone can find the space. I think it's more a matter of people learning the peculiar needs of the plants--once their needs are understood, they are not high maintenance. So I hope these little plants become ever more widely available, and more of us understand them, love them, and grow them in our ever-shrinking habitations.


  1. Great video Marla. Gary's pad is awesome, and his utilization of a small space with the sliding walls is very clever & stylish too. I can see myself getting lost in there, lol. His pad can definitely do with some Mesembs & other plants though. It's one thing to utilise space, but to have nature around is another. There's something special about having living plants in the home, doing their job filtering the air.

  2. You had the same reaction I did! I loved the apartment, but thought, "Where are the plants??"-- he could definitely have used a Lithops collection in the window....

  3. I really enjoyed your posts. Love my lithops and have a collections that seem to be very happy. Thank you for your blog.

  4. Thank you so much, Patti! You made my week!