We are a couple of months late to the game, but we finally got around to repotting some of our plants. Normally we try to do it around the Victoria Day holiday in May, but winter seemed to hang on a bit longer this year, plus with the pandemic, we hadn’t gone to pick up soil or new pots.

But mid-June, garden centres had re-opened, and we had finally scrounged together a few packs of soil (it was not enough) and got started. We did the ones at the studio shop and in the apartment first, and then we planned a day to lug the bags of soil and pots to the main shop, and went to work. I think our fingernails had soil underneath and in the cuticles for a week. It was glorious.

I had planted this cutting into soil several years ago—maybe 3. For that amount of time, it didn’t seem quite alive, certainly it wasn’t growing new sprouts or leaves, and it didn’t seem quite dead, so I’d just left it alone. Turns out, there was quite a bit going on underneath the soil.
Superheroes taking off their capes for the real work.
Caleb claimed this one for his room.
This one was an almost-casualty in the weeks immediately following the pandemic, forgotten and abandoned in the studio shop. It shed its leaves fairly dramatically from the based of its steam to almost the top of its steams, with just a few leaves to gather dust. I wasn’t sure if I should just cut my losses and toss it in the compost. But new life! Hope! A few precious new leaves.
Shortly after we repotted this, when we were moving it back inside, a stem broke off halfway, which is now sitting in a glass of water. Casualties, indeed.

It’s slightly more stressful to do the re-potting at the main shop because people stop by and admire the plants, and then have to tactfully slide away as someone breaks a pot or breaks off a stem or spills the very precious amount of soil we have on the ground or gets sprayed in the face with a hose and things start to get a bit hairy.

For the last several years, Jon has slowly been transitioning from cranky, young Asian man directly to his destiny as cranky, old Asian man, completely bypassing middle age.

Direct quotes:
“So this is actually twice as much work since we have to do it at the main shop and at home.”
“Why do you even need soil?”
“Let’s calculate the actual cost of these plants in the water bill.”

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June 24, 2020 — wonderpens



Alek said:

Caleb has some great taste! I love Monstera, I’ve got two of my own <3


wonderpens said:

We just separated the bulbs from a big one, so he got one of the small ones! I haven’t been brave enough to do a cutting yet, but maybe he will take that on!


wonderpens said:

Yes! Spending time with the plants is so relaxing. I read somewhere that it does something to your brain that calms you down, which I completely believe. Even more important for kids to get a bit of these days.

Thank so much for following along with us, and your support over the years. We appreciate it so much.


wonderpens said:

I will have to take your word for it, the peperomia has really been through quite an on-going life struggle!

You are too kind! Hah. The plants are in varying mediocre shapes, but hopefully the new soil and the increased sunlight (and the renewed vows by their human to water them regularly) will help bring back some life.

I’m so glad you like it, the blue is so lovely. It’s one of my favourite new releases this year.



All of your plants look amazing! I love the big split-leaf philodendron thingy — I haven’t seen one of those in years. My mum always had one in my childhood home, so that really brings back some memories.

The almost-casualty peperomia is a very tough and forgiving plant. It will regenerate and look like new in no time. Trust me!

I’m loving the Sailor’s Sailor, by the way. Just finished writing a letter with it on Tomoe River paper and it’s gorgeous!


Val said:

Nothing like putting your hands in the soil and seeing plants grow to releave stress…. love the things you are doing with your kids, reminds me of when my own were that young. I have been enjoying watching them growing older, helping out as a family… Jon’s quotes got a chuckle. Stay safe Wonder Pen family.

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