Well, let's not call it "collecting", taking care of and then releasing into the world, or something...
I got my first one while living in Cincinnati. It was a pretty little thing someone got as part of a minimalistic deco composition for a 2 bedroom apartment.
Then, I moved to New Jersey and I had to leave my lucky bamboo in the hands of an incredibly stupid woman, who at the time I called "friend" (but that's another story, written somewhere else).
At the time, there was this dude who offered to drive my little lucky from OH to NJ, but I didn't want to complicate something that was already looking complicated ---- which, a few years later got horribly complicated and I ended up burning bridges all around the midwest, the Dakotas and West coast, catch my complicated drift?
Anyway, anyhow, any who...
Once in NJ, I got a new lucky bamboo, very Swedish, very much from Ikea.
Unfortunately, I had to leave NJ, and lucky bamboo #2 couldn't come with me . I'm pretty sure it's dead by now. Sorry little dude, shit happens.
As I returned to Cincy, one of the few significant things I wanted to take back was lucky #1.
When I asked for it, the woman I left it to started to cry. She'd let my bamboo die... I mean.... HOW THE FUCK DO YOU KILL A BAMBOO??? how stupid are you?? that creature may have a thousand academic degrees and diplomas but... it's water once every two weeks woman. How hard is it!?!?!
Well, it hurt at the time, but when I moved to a new apartment by myself, I got a mini tiny lucky bamboo.
Lucky #3 grew to about 6-7 times his original size in a couple of months, which make my incredibly proud. My green thumb existed!!
A few weeks later, this guy I met saw my baby all alone, said they were not supposed to be by themselves and got it a brother, lucky #4.
Lucky #4 gave me enough confidence to get more brothers, sisters and cousins from all around and my little apartment became the little peace of heaven I always wanted but was not "allowed", with flowers, plants and herbs that filled my apartment with colours and scents even during the coldest of winters.
Last year I moved again. This time I was not going to be able to take my bamboos with me... or any of my plants for that matter.
Mr. Big offered to take them, but it was going to be tooooooooo complicated. So I gave half of them to my former roommate and the other half, including my two luckies, to my amazing neighbour. I'm pretty sure he's taking great care of my babies.
*** Fast forward, 6 months ***
My aunt gave me a big, big, really big... HUGE succulents pot as a Christmas present, now sitting on the highest shelf in my office.
It came as a bunch of little babies, and now it's a pretty little jungle.
After #5? ferns, peonies, lemongrass, mint, basil... I'm slowly getting my little jungle back.
Can't complain. Life's good.