Ruby Bayan is a freelance writer who likes to share her simple joys.

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Confessions Of An Office Pack Rat

by Ruby Bayan

'Indoor Plants' by Ruby Bayan "You never know when you'll need it" -- the pack rat credo, right?

Well, I got promoted into an office room, and, okay, it's not really a corner office, so I thought some greenery would liven it up. My puzzle was: how to "create" an office garden using the tons of supplies and left-for-useless items I had been stashing forever in that cramped old cubicle of mine! I examined one pack-rat item after another, then suddenly... Aha! I can create "The Ultimate Recycled Office Garden"!

I rushed to the garden center and grabbed some indoor plants -- not those already in fancy planters, but the ones in starter containers and plastic bags. I got a lace fern, a couple of spider plants, one tall queen palm, and a set of sphere and candle cacti.

My first project was to hang the lace fern and spider plants next to the window. I dug up my old lampshade, the receptionist's tarnished candy bowl, and my outmoded business card file tray. Then I pulled out my collection of paper clips -- about two kilos of paper clips of all sizes and colors -- and strung the jumbos to form a few long chains.

I lined the lampshade, candy bowl, and business card tray with bubble wraps (the ones I stripped off used bubble-lined envelopes) and popped the fern and spider plants in each one. I used the chain of paper clips to hang them from the ceiling and viola! Arte Nouveau!

Now for the Queen Palm -- perfect for that corner spot. The General Services Office got a new shredder last month so I dragged the retired shredder bin and kept in under my cubicle. Now it's a planter for my palm tree! I glued colored "fried" diskettes on the outside like deco tiles -- kewlness!

And my Mammillaria cacti? Excellent for the coffee table by the visitor's couch. Well, they gave me a new chair mat so I cut up the old one into small squares which now serve as liners (like place mats) for my cactus pots. What did I use as pots for my cacti?

I put the candle cactus in an old pencil holder, and the two sphere cacti in old diskette storage tubs. Sometimes I arrange them in a particular way just to start a conversation.

I'm waiting for when they throw out the boss's 17-inch monitor -- it would make a great terrarium!

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