Trees Not Trash

By Jamie Waugh / Published by Dwell
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I moved into a new apartment over the summer that came already inhabited by a split-leaf philodendron. This being is otherwise known as a Swiss Cheese Plant, though I am not sure why. The tropics would seem to be the more likely provenance, as it has leaves up to 18 inches long and has a wingspan of about five feet. Because I live neither in jungle nor castle, the gorgeous beast felt like it was taking over.

After researching kind fates for my new green friend I stumbled upon Trees Not Trash, a Brooklyn-based neighborhood beautification project that has brought more green space to East Williamsburg–an industrial-turned-residential area of town–by way of planting trees and establishing community gardens. The organization also serves as a plant adoption agency. Upon emailing one of the founders, she informed me that they had a good home for the jungle-scale "houseplant" taking over my kitchen.

Ultimately I became too attached to the plant to be separated from it. Friends helped me hoist it to a new, fitting spot. The plant is happy; and if you are in the market for a plant trader, Trees Not Trash will make you equally content.


Jamie Waugh


After starting in design journalism at House & Garden and CNN, Jamie runs the International Design Awards festival, which rewards visionary international design. One University of Southern California MFA later, she maintains a steady fiction and dramatic writing habit.

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