Adam Hamilton and Elizabeth Petrossian fell in love with plants after they fell in love with each other.
Hamilton said they were looking for something to do together when they started dating, and they happened to wander into O’Toole’s Garden Center in Littleton. There, they met a man who imbued them with his passion for household horticulture. They suddenly realized they both shared that passion, though it lay deep within them, waiting to be awakened.
“We both got addicted together,” he said. “It’s a mutual addiction, which is healthy if you really like spending money and like really fresh air in your house.”
Today, Hamilton said they’ve got somewhere close to 180 green friends taking up nearly every inch of the house they share in Bear Valley. But their prize plants, the two they are extremely excited about, are a stingray alocasia and a titan arum, better known as a corpse flower.
That’s right. Hamilton and Petrossian have begun to grow an enormous flower that will smell like decaying flesh.
It’s something, he said, they “certainly both are geeked out about right now.”
Now, the flower is hardly more than an infant at this point. It will be some time before it turns foul.
Hamilton managed to trade some monsteras for a titan arum bulb at a plant swap meet a while back. The couple planted it a few weeks ago, and it’s just begun to sprout. The flower stage, the one that smells bad, will take about seven years. In the meantime, the bulb will produce a stalk, which looks like a little tree but is actually just a single leaf, as it gathers energy for the big nasty flower show.
When it does become stinky, Hamilton said, he’ll likely look for a greenhouse or a botanic garden to take it off his hands.
“I don’t really need the neighbors thinking we’re bagging bodies, so to speak,” he said.
Also, he doubts it will be pleasant to live with.
The corpse flower fits right in with Hamilton’s love for carnivorous plants. Petrossian is into prayer plants. Together, they’ve filled their house with much of the spectrum in between.
Now that they’re out of room, and because they have so much free time working their banking jobs from home, they’ve taken the next step in their relationship: crops, which they’ll tend to outside.