Indoor Raking and Other Gardening Related Exercise

If you can’t go out and garden, bring the gardening indoors to you!

Some of my houseplants are a bit on the untidy side. This Swedish Ivy, Plectranthus australis, seems to drop quite a few leaves.

Swedish Ivy is an extremely easy houseplant to grow. This one grows in a north window and gets some water every couple of weeks. I started it from a three inch cutting that I "pinched" from one of my sisters who had it in a hanging basket on her deck one summer.

That plant probably ended up in the compost bin, but its "daughter plant" is doing quite well.

But it does drop a few leaves on occasion.

I am wondering if subconsciously I didn’t let all these leaves fall without sweeping them up so I could have something garden-wise to do?

My garden-wise activity was to get the rake and rake them up.

I made a nice little pile of leaves and debris from the plant. It wasn't quite big enough to jump in or even big enough to bother taking to the compost pile.I guess I’d call this “micro gardening” or maybe “pseudo gardening”. Believe you me, it’s no substitute for the real thing outdoors. It's like cross country skiing indoors on a ski machine.

What? You say I could have just used the vacuum to clean up those leaves? Well, what fun would that be? How does one stay in shape for gardening with a sweeper? And what kind of picture would that be for my blog, one of my old sweeper sucking up those leaves?

No, I had to use the rake to make it seem like gardening.

Later, I’m going to work on the ultimate winter exercise machine for the gardener. I’m calling it the “mowmill”. It will be like a treadmill, only you will have to push forward on it like you are pushing a lawn mower. And what do you think, should I include the sound of the mower to make it more realistic? (The sound of an old fashioned reel mower that is, thanks, Annie, for the suggestion.)


  1. I love your little rake - it is a great tool for collecting fallen leaves. It is such a pain when leaves get ground in the carpets ( by big brown dog paws and large teenaged feet!)

    This is a good way to feel some connection with the outdoor garden - tenuous, yes, but definitely better than nothing.

    This past week I've spent more time that I should be at Blotanical, reading garden blogs that I hadn't realised existed. It is truly amazing to see the number and variety of blogs. I also have come to the conclusion that there is no way I can keep up with them ... as much as I would like to, there are other things needing to be done.

    With our nasty weather and my enforced rest because of neck problems, blog reading has been my saving grace.

    Have a good week. I'm curious about what the 'mowmill' involves. I am also totally envious of you attending the spring fling. You'll have such a good time!!

  2. Funny, like Kate I have spent way too much time on blotanical, things need doing around here. Love your mowmill idea, you need a nicer sound that a gas engine, how about the whirr of an electric mower. That is what I use on the small plot grass here at Faire Garden. It is not too loud, just the noise of the blade going round. Glad to see you can even do raking inside, you are a creative gardener!

  3. Kate, so sorry to read that you have a neck problem. Yes, being inside all winter can drive us gardeners to do some crazy things to stay connected to gardening somehow, even if it is reading garden blogs all day and night.

    Frances, thanks for the comment, I saw where you are also ranked quite high as a Blotanist. But once spring comes, that all changes, I'm sure, as the garden calls us to spend more time in it than online. I think we are driving the active southern gardeners crazy right now with all the blogging!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  4. Garden blogs are very addictive. I rarely looked up from my computer yesterday as I clicked from one blog to another. Thank goodness I don't have any house plants to rake up after, or I would be even further behind in my work!

  5. This is a cute post, but oh, if it were only possible to harness that overabundance of energy from you cooped-up kids!! The pecan trees are the kind that give you something to do all year-round - now the remains of the hulls are finally coming down so we need real rakes.
    I got the Diva diary up today but see no hope of ever catching up with blog posts.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. The photo made me laugh. And then a make a knowing nod of the head.

    I have my Swedish ivy, about the same size, on about the same height pedestal, with about the same amount of leaves on the ground.

    When they get to be a pile, I clean them up. Or, if company is coming over I clean them up. Too bad I don't have in indoor compost pile for all the leaves the indoor/outdoor plants are dropping right now. At this rate, they'll all be bald just in time to take them back outside in a couple months.

    An indoor rake is a great thought.

  7. What a hoot Carol. I have thought about doing that before believe it or not. I ususally just use my fingers before I get the vacuum.

    You wouldn't make much money from me if you devise a machine to keep one in shape for gardening. Machines are necessary evils to me. I have as few as possible.

  8. Sherry, that's right, no houseplants for you. I had to rescue that African violet from you, remember?

    Annie in Austin, I'm way behind on reading blogs, too, but am doing my part to provide more reading material in the blogosphere in the wintertime. Maybe when I come to Austin, I can do some raking for you. I'm keeping in shape for it!

    Jim/Artofgardening, Yes, I wait until there are enough leaves to mess with before I clean them up, too.

    Lisa at Greenbow, I generally don't like gasoline powered lawn equipment, except for my mower. I just don't understand them!

    Thanks all for the comments,
    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  9. Love that little rake. I need one of those for my ficus, which is always doing a little leaf drop.

    Do you have an indoor collection bucket for compost-ables? I know I toss lots of my houseplants cleanings and prunings into mine.


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