Junk mail.

We all get it, and most of mine goes straight into the bag of mixed paper I take to the recycling center on Saturdays. Well — not straight. It tends to hang around on my kitchen table for a while before I get around to sorting it, but I rarely get something I read, and even more rarely something that I order.

Except seed catalogs, which I keep to drool over in the dark days of winter. And plant catalogs.

I got a Logee’s catalog in the mail several weeks ago. I drooled appropriately. I told myself firmly that I did not need any new houseplants.

I do have a beautiful, light area for houseplants, thermostated separately from the rest of the house. When I bought this house eleven years ago, the one thing that bothered me was the location of the doors. There were two, one from the kitchen into the heated garage (a luxury my cars had never known before) and the other right next to the garage door. I had just been through a fire, and emergency exit during a fire was never far from my mind. In this house, the furnace was in the garage, and the bedrooms were all at the opposite end of the house.

Granted the bedroom windows were large and not too far above the ground.

I still didn’t want even to think about them as emergency exits. It’s a considerable effort even to reach one to adjust the blinds.

So I decided to have an arctic entry added at the bedroom end of the house. Granted it’s somewhat unusual to have an entry directly from the master bedroom, but given the floor plan of the house, that was the only possible way of putting in a door well away from the furnace. (It was a furnace fire that got me the first time.)

As long as I was putting in an arctic entry, why not a plant room? I was already overrun with plants, as I have been in every place I’ve lived. So there is now a small room, about 8’ by 10’, with windows on three sides, jutting out from the southeast corner of the house and opening off of the arctic entry. It’s wired for 8 fluorescent tubes, on timers, in the ceiling, and another set of timed outlets where I have a set of trays and 4-tube fluorescents. What’s more, I’d just cleaned it up, after throwing out the plants I’ve had for years when I could not get rid of the cottony scale on the amaryllis.

The Logee’s catalog won.

I’d already planned to bring in the potted geraniums and the rose for the winter, and I just couldn’t resist an orchid Safeway had on sale. They will now be joined by four small citrus, three jasmines, a streptocarpus, an episcia and a peach-gold Christmas cactus that I’m gambling will not be too badly affected by the long days programmed for the plant lights.

I also ordered two plant books: Spectacular Container Plants and Growing Tasty Tropical Plants in Any Home, Anywhere. Well, I enjoy reading plant books, and it’s been a while since I had citrus and jasmine. But I do remember the scent of their flowers, and between those, the rose-scented geranium, and the potted rose, the plant room should be a pleasant place, this winter.