Offering the olive branch

For a little while I’ve wanted a plant for our bedroom, no maidenhair ferns or cyclamen need apply*

I saw some amazing examples of fiddle leaf figs on pinterest and blogs but I wouldn’t even know if you could find one of these magnificent plants in Australia.

Looking at typical “indoor” plants around town was incredibly uninspiring, glossy leaved almost plastic plants or pretty and completely impractical cacti (baby + cactus spines = no thanks). I’d almost given up, when I started thinking about what grows locally with the view to having something that helps me embrace the fact that this town is indeed home.

The seed planted and my search renewed, there it was a my love hate relationship with this town summed up in one plant – the Olive tree. Such beautiful colour contrasts and visual texture, such awful memories of working my first job in a restaurant and getting olives from a 44 gallon drum balanced on pallets and fearing I’d fall in to the moldy brine (that place shouldn’t have been serving food).

It was almost definitely the right choice. But what pushed it from almost to absolutely was that I needed a visual reminder. Being a stubborn person, I have trouble apologizing or ending an argument no matter how pointless that argument may be. Papa Wolff and I don’t argue a lot but when we do we get stuck in a kind of silent sulking standoff that he more often than not breaks with an apology. Even when he’s not in the wrong. And even if he is in the wrong there isn’t necessarily anyone in the right. The thing I need reminding most often is that this relationship is not a power play, I don’t have anything to gain by winning an argument that is based on tiredness or frustration and nothing real. There are times when differences require compromise or sacrifice but they don’t really require an argument or worse a stalemate. So next time we fall in to that silly pattern I’ll be able to look at my olive tree, remember these things take negotiation not negativity and extend the olive branch.

*Far too many memories of these half dead residing in my childhood homes, they make me melancholy.

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2 thoughts on “Offering the olive branch

  1. What a beautiful post Lila. I love olive trees too and no idea they grow well indoors. I’ve never really thought about plants indoors (I fail at even orchids) and remember growing up with ‘money tree’s – a fixture in most asian homes in order to generate good feng sui. I have an olive tree outside and I agree this is a great choice for your home too. I always associate good things and memories from olive trees – like the local italians climbing up these trees in our local park to bottle up and the whole idea of them representing peace and forgiveness. Enjoy your tree!

    • I’ve only started with indoor plants in this house, I really love it.We have a money tree out the front, I’d like two but I think I’ll have to attempt growing one from a cutting which makes me nervous.
      Apparently with lots of sun, free draining soil and a bit of care the Olive should be happy indoors, but if it starts to look sad I’ll find room in the garden for it. Hopefully I won’t kill the poor thing!

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