Unlike most people I know, I don’t decorate my home. Mostly because I don’t like clutter. After all, where does one draw the line between decoration and clutter? (The ever-growing piles of books in my apartment don’t count as the latter.)

Ever since I moved to Brussels two and a half years ago, the only decorative item I’ve had in the apartment is a tiny stuffed snowman that is always smiling no matter how grey or dull the weather outside may be.


A few months ago, I decided to get some plants around the apartment.

I had never had plants of my own. The closest were my mum’s cacti that I helped to water occasionally.

Whatever plant I add to my home, I wanted to be sure that it doesn’t die prematurely due to inadequate care or inappropriate conditions.

I have grown beansprouts (for science experiments) and alfalfa sprouts (in a jar, for consumption) but neither is a good gauge of how ‘green’ my thumbs would be.

Since I travel often enough for work and leisure, succulents would be most suitable as they don’t require much care. Plus these hardy little plants don’t grow rapidly, which means they wouldn’t take over my living room while I’m not around.

After visiting several florist shops and weekend markets in Brussels, I didn’t find any succulents to my liking. Going by the limited options available, I suspect that succulents (excluding cactus) are hard to come by here.

If you know where one can find a wide selection of succulents in Brussels, please let me know.


When I was in Paris over the weekend, I popped into the florist shop near AB’s place. Lo and behold, there were several succulent types to choose from. Yay!

It didn’t take long to make a decision which was going to be my first succulent. We both loved the one with pointy stripped leaves that spread out like a flower.


I believe it belongs to the Haworthia family.

Update: After typing different possible keywords into Google, I found the answer!

This little lady is commonly known as Fairy Washboard Haworthia, specifically, Haworthia limifolia v. striata. This is supposedly a very accommodating plant and is a great starter plant. Yay!

By the way, did you know there are around 80 species of Haworthia?

Transporting this little Haworthia back to Brussels required some care so as to not accidentally break the pointy leaves. Happy to say that all went well and now my first succulent has a new home.

Hopefully a few other succulents will be joining this Haworthia soon.




6 replies on “Going green with a Fairy Washboard Haworthia

  1. I am exactly like you. I don’t like decorating my room at all whereas my friends would want things like wallpaper, colourful painted walls, posteres, knick-knacks all around their room and house. I think it’s because I like having space. No clutter makes me feel there is less chaos around me (I’m a neat freak, hate mess and like things orderly. Maybe a bit OCD, haha!). I like your snowman – forever smiling. I have a blue monkey that I decorate my bed with. Sometimes it looks happy, sometimes angry, depending on whether I roll on it at night when sleeping 🙂

    1. I’m not particularly neat and can deal with stacks of things as long as they are in an ‘organised state of mess’ 😉 But I do enjoy having clear space around me!

  2. An interesting thought or question; what’s the difference between decoration an clutter? I think I am right in the middle between the two with respect to my home. That Haworthia looks great!

    1. Thanks Otto! I’m one-quarter way through an online listing of Haworthias – hopefully I’ll be able to identify the species soon 🙂
      I find that my state of mind is often reflected by how messy things are at home and at my office desk. Every now and then, things look out of control and that’s when I know I’ve to stop and do some cleaning whilst clearing my mind!

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