Passion: Designing and maintaining the plant-life throughout the atrium of his home.

Background: Jon has several things that he pursues to learn and enjoy. The most recent big change in his life was purchasing a home in California that features a large atrium in the center of the indoor living space. This area features a 64 sq. ft. Domed skylight. cement walkways and mulched beds accent the entryway, dining, and living areas. Jon researches, plans, purchases, organizes, and maintains the plant-life that is the showcase of the mid-century modern entryway and living room.

“Having green things that are alive in my home was a novel change after living in San Francisco for five or six years in an apartment. It always felt like a lot of “city,” so to get a little bit more greenery was something worth looking forward to… When we bought the home, it was also the beginning of the pandemic, where we had to stay indoors, so having plants indoors made that whole time more enjoyable.”

“I would always recommend someone to dive into new things, because you can never really tell at the outset if it is going to be something that you will be really passionate about. Trying a lot of things is a good thing, and the process of learning about something new is really valuable. Learning and growing keeps things interesting; prevents you from becoming bored. I find it to always be a worthwhile effort”.

“At first, it was just, ‘there are spaces for plants and so we need to figure out what is going to look good.’ One of the things I started to appreciate more is that we, as a people, are all starting to get very accustomed to fast feedback loops, but plants are not interested in whether you feel fulfilled right now or not. They are just going to grow at their own pace and they are going to want what they want. That’s been a nice, refreshing change in pace. It provides good practice in developing patience.”

“You’ll get a new plant and be really excited about where you are going to place it, and it turns out that the plant does not appreciate living there. And then you need to find a different spot for it. One of the more interesting parts is finding plants that both are going to be able to live in the space you are hoping to fill, and that you’ll also enjoy. You need to find plants to fit a space in an environment where they thrive.”

“We want our home to feel alive, and to feel mature and lived in. Things move so fast nowadays, so we are used to being able to buy things that are already the way we want them. The interesting thing about plants is you can start small, and they will get to the size and look that you want. It just takes time.”

“I can be a little bit detail-oriented sometimes, but you just have to be willing to let some things go. And even if you like the way something looks at a particular moment in time, one of the interesting things is it’s not going to look like that for very much longer. It’s either going to be a lot bigger, or it’ll die back a bit, or it won’t be flowering. It is home décor, but it is constantly evolving.”

“I think my passion for this will even continue to grow over time as I get attached to the plants. You want them to do really well, and you spend a lot of time caring about them. It’s inevitable that you’ll get sentimental with them.”

“It’s a reminder to take a break sometimes. We all work a lot, and this can be a reminder to take time to water the plants and check on them. It’s a good reminder that we should also be checking in on ourselves and make sure that we are okay too.”