Saturday, May 15, 2010

Office-tel Garden

It has been nearly two years here in Korea and I have lived in 3.5 office-tels, or single room housing. The picture above illustrates the first plant I owned here in Korea at my first office-tell in Gil-dong, Seoul. It was left by the previous teacher and I found it to be the practically only house-warming thing that was there. When I quit that job and left that office-tell I left the plant to the next teacher. By now that person has already finished their year and so there is probably a new person in that space. So who knows if the plant has survived.

I say 3.5 office-tells, because the second one I moved into had no window, and after bitterly complaining managed to move across the hallway to an office-tell with a window. However, the place was still dingy.

Buying plants and keeping them alive, was a way I found to feel better about your cramped living space.
All those plants that I had in my "window-tell" have since died. During my move into my current office-tell the plants stayed at JH's house, where I have learned didn't really make it.

Yet that doesn't mean life can't start anew!

Since living in my new place I have acquired and grown a few plants. Most of them have been the Daiso (bargain store) mini-plants. Basically what you get is a kit, including soil, seeds and a pot. You put it all together and about a week later something sprouts.

So far I have two of them growing but not really sure what they are. Today I found a new one at the store that was labeled "basil". I was really excited when I heard this as this herb is practically difficult to find for sale here.  I look forward to growing this and using the leaves in a recipe.

That plant there in the pink pot is, I think, a flowering plant and will someday brighten up the home. I learned quickly that it doesn't like direct sunlight.

I also have a spearmint plant, which has grown itself pretty nicely. If you can find it I would highly recommend growing a spearmint plant, as for one you can eat the leaves and two it does a good job of freshening up the office-tell.

However, if you are the kind of person who knows you won't be able to keep plants alive then I suggest you find a kind of plant that can survive long days without water.

This probably sounds crazy, but I enjoy watching my plants grow. I know what you are thinking, that plants grow slowly. But one day I put water in the pink-pot plant and I saw the leaves perk up rather quickly.


The other day a truck went by the river outside spraying pesticide. It was a fun sight considering there were people walking by and cyclists going through.
So what's in your office-tel?


  1. awe! now i want to go out and get some plants!! definitely will do it! i have pretty big windows that have some space.... maybe uyu won't mess with them... LOL!

  2. I've never had to live in an officetel, but I think plants are a good strategy for making them more livable.

  3. Oh yea! You can get plants at local flower shops or inside Lotte Mart or Emart :) Cats do tend to like to chew on plants...maybe consider if it would poisonous or not. But a general house plant would probably be of no harm.

  4. I love Daiso! But there are none where I live. I can't believe how big that plant in the tiny pink pot is! I'm attempting an indoor garden as well (basil, mint, dill) but so far nothing is really what you'd call "flourishing"


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