Master Gardener Patti Zins, who currently hails from the high hills of Buck Brook, describes herself as a “bit of a gypsy,” having lived previously in Illinois, Idaho, Vermont, and parts of north and south Jersey. Zins has worked maintaining and enhancing outdoor gardens in this area for the past nine years, often taking her pet Westie, Gin Gin, with her. However, she now finds herself gravitating back to the focus of houseplants.
“Because I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey and New York City, house plants and their culture were more amenable to my environment,” explains Zins. “They were very popular in the ‘70s when I was young. They are portable and can move with you.”
Moving in with her “man friend” Bob Bestenheider (who enclosed a south-facing deck, making it into a sunroom and a special place for Zins to nurture and showcase her collection of indoor plants) was exactly what started Zindoor Gardens. She calls it her “cultivation room” and her obsession. “The natural beauty and abundance of resources in the area only serves to enhance my passion for growing plants of all kinds,” says Zins. “I find the cultivation of living things, especially plants, to be a harmonious and therapeutic pastime. The varying colors, textures and habits of plants are endlessly awe inspiring to me. The more I learn, the more there is to learn.”
As a young girl, Zins was taken under a neighbor’s wing to learn about gardening. “She allowed me to work with her as a preteen without stress or judgement,” says Zins of her neighbor gardener. Since then, Zins has worked in quite a few retail nurseries and as an interior plant maintenance professional in both commercial and residential settings. Certified in 2001 as a Master Gardener by Penn State, in this region alone, Zins has designed and planted countless outdoor residential ornamental gardens.
“After all these years, my relationship to plants has become second nature, an instinct or knowing of sorts,” states Zins. “Plants, although silent, can tell you many things if you recognize the signs.
“Although indoor gardening can and does give solitary rewards, it is also an opportunity to share your interest with others of like or curious minds,” says Zins. “There are many societies dedicated to one particular group of plants as well as many sites on social media of enthusiastic houseplant lovers from novices to experts. Indoor gardeners: You are not alone! So check them out.”
For further information on Zindoor Gardening: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Zindoor” tips for growing indoors:
1. Start with an easy house plant like pothos or philodendrons.
2. Research their needs for light, water and occasional fertilizer.
3. Give them your attention; remember they are living things.
4. Watch how they respond to your care.
5. Don’t overstress or overwater.
6. When you do well, they do well.
7. Eventually they will need a bigger pot.
8. Failures are lessons; successes are joys.