More Hobby–ness – My Prescription For Lifelong Happiness

(To the Tune of James Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)”)

How sweet it is to love what we do
How sweet it is to love what we do

I wanted to share with you a life long passion – Here it is
I needed a way to share my hobby with others – Here it is
Your continued devotion
Deeply touches my emotion
I want to stop and thank you readers
I just want to stop and thank you readers

How sweet it is to love what we do
How sweet it is to love what we do

Planting the Seeds of a Lifelong Hobby

What is a hobby? The Oxford dictionary defines hobby as An activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. 

So where did the word hobby come from? In the 16th century, the term “hobyn ” had the meaning of “small horse and pony “. The term “hobby horse” was documented in a 1557 payment confirmation for a “Hobbyhorse” from Reading, England. The item, originally called a just for now”Tourney Horse”, was made of a wooden or basketwork frame with an artificial tail and head. It was designed for a child to mimic riding a real horse. By 1816 the derivative, “hobby”, was introduced into the vocabularyof a number of English people. Over the course of subsequent centuries, the term came to be associated with recreation and leisure.

You already know about my life–long love of listening to music. Today I am going to tell you about another pursuit.

Although I have been a city boy my entire life botany is in my DNA. Both parents grew up on family farms. They were raised on home grown vegetables. Granny’s garden was legendary and Mom always ate home grown tomatoes when they were in season.

I began raising house plants in college. Each time I came upon a new plant I would ask the owner for a cutting. My roommate was an agricultural major. He shared my passion and brought a plant stand and dozens of plants when we moved in together. At one point we had almost 100 plants.

The Joy Of Plumeria

I consider myself an Plumerist. “What’s that?” you say. Simply put, it is someone who enjoys the cultivation and sharing of plumeria plants. Yes I just made that word up.

Plumeria (/plˈmɛriə/) is a genus of flowering plants in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae. Most species are deciduous shrubs or small trees. The species variously are indigenous to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, and as far south as Brazil, but are grown as cosmopolitan ornamentals in warm regions. Common names for plants in the genus vary widely according to region, variety, and whim, but frangipani or variations on that theme are the most common. Plumeria also is used directly as a common name, especially in horticultural circles.

Plumeria flowers come in all colors. Whites, yellows, pinks, and hybrids. Interestingly enough flowers of plants grown from seed will not necessarily be the same color as those of the plant from whence they came.

Each fall I prune my plants and save the cuttings for spring. Stalks are removed from their pots. Stalks and cuttings last all winter as long as they  are not subject to freezing temperatures. I accomplish this by storing everything in the garage.

By early April there is no longer risk of freeze. Stalks are replanted in their original pots. Cuttings are treated with rooting powder, planted in a soil mixture formulated to encourage new roots, watered, and placed in the sun. In about a month they are ready to be given away.
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8 Responses to More Hobby–ness – My Prescription For Lifelong Happiness

  1. Ann says:

    Beautiful flowers!

  2. Lynn says:

    I enjoy the challenge of growing my plumeria, but they don’t bloom profusely like yours. I’m definitely missing the “green thumb”!

  3. Gary & Janetta says:

    Thanks Brad for reminding us of some of the simpler things in life that we take so for granted-there is a tremendous beauty in life and in the Lord’s creation but….there is also a lot of work in a “hobby” but it surely is a labor of love.
    Hope our garden will one day look half as good as your grandma’s!

  4. Brenda says:

    Understand about having botany in the DNA, my dad’s garden was a sight to behold! And, sorry Texans, there is NOTHING like a ripe, homegrown Kentucky (Illinois has some good ones, too) tomato! Unlike you, Brad, I have not been able to cultivate anything much in this Texas heat. Thanks for sharing your gift!

  5. Beth says:

    Wow! I love plumerias as cut flowers, so I found this interesting. I bemoan the fact that I don’t have a garden as my yard is small and very shady from mature oak trees, but I grew up with a gardening grandmother. Nice post!

  6. Sue gibson says:

    Dear Plumarist I am not one evidently for my beautiful plant does not bloom despite the food i bought for it. I will get yours to you eventually. thanks for the post.

  7. Susan St. George says:

    Brad I think of you often when I see the plumeria cutting you gave me so long ago. It is huge and blooms profusely every year. I finally got my red one to bloom this year. I too like you enjoy my plants.

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