Why I Don’t Keep Plants


Yesterday I was reading the blog,of a dear little girl I know when I noted her enthusiasm for growing plants. Not only was she enthusiastic, but she was successful. I have seen these plants on her patio and they were truly alive and … growing. In Arizona. In the summer time. Outside.

This is something that absolutely amazes me. I love plants, but I fear them. Mostly because I know the plant that happily shows up in my home today is going to be gasping its last by next week. Let me tell you, it doesn’t matter how good you are at performing CPR, when a plant is breathing its last there is no saving it.

My sad lot with indoor plants began when my father died. The local grocery store he frequented considered him such a loyal customer and were saddened that they would be missing his charm –and his grocery bill– so much, that they had two cashiers attend his funeral. They also brought a plant. A beautiful Croton plant. Every time I left the house, that poor plant suffered. So, did the dog’s conscience, once I got home.

Of course, dogs always suffer from a guilty conscience, even when they are perfectly innocent. You know how I know this? Because, I later caught the damn cat digging out the plant. Even after caught in the act, that cat was still pointing at the dog, and the dog was hiding in the corner saying, “I’m sorry. I have problems. I can’t help myself. I’ll never do it, again. I’ll even go to therapy. Just, PLEEEEASE, don’t be mad at me.”

My favorite plants are the Lucky Bamboo plants. Which isn’t always so lucky for the bamboo. For many months I had a lovely bamboo in my guest bathroom that continued to grow and grow and grow. Apparently, it preferred a dirty bathroom to a clean one, because as soon as I went in with a bottle of bleach, it immediately keeled over in shock.

Then, there was Charlie. I have probably named half a dozen plants Charlie. But, this one was a willow looking thing that did beautifully in the bathroom. It would happily take a shower with Mr. Greene, every morning. It didn’t even go into shock at the sight of a clean bathroom, but it did more than weep when the season changed from Summer to Autumn. Which was odd, because the rest of us were rejoicing. After the plants first experience with seasonal depression, there was no bringing it back. No matter where I moved it in the house or how often I tried to get Mr. Greene to sing to it, I still had to say, “Goodbye, Charlie”.

Before you think I kill everything I come in contact with. (And, no, it’s not my fault that my children once .thought that the fresh daffodil bulbs I once bought should be put into a salad) , a few hardy plants have greatly flourished. A little too well. When I was in my 20s, I decided to give myself a lovely treat of planting some annuals that had been taunting me, every time I went to the local nursery.

Would you believe it? Those things actually grew and flourished. Even the plant my then, little girl, accidentally pulled out just said, “Not a problem,” replanted itself, and continued to grow. Not only did I have a garden for the first time, my children had playmates, as those flowers and the basil took over the yard. The plants that weren’t chasing my children around the yard, while playing Tag, were creating their own jungle scene.

That was a very lovely Autumn, but, I have no wish of ever using a machete to try to find a  lost little people, in the future. Now, you know, why, as much as I want to, I refuse to keep plants of my own.

Happy growing!!

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Published in: on June 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

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