Friday, June 29, 2012

Plants and Me: A Tragic Tale

            A few days after I came home from the hospital with my first-born son, a relative gave me a potted plant as a gift. It was a lovely, leafy, vibrant hibiscus. It also had a very short life.
            Unlike the nearly ten pounds of joy I had just brought home, that darn plant never made a sound when it was hungry. My new son made everyone within a two-mile radius know he needed to nurse. Even my cats make noise when they need something. A new mother isn’t going to feed something that doesn’t make noise. If you’re looking for a suggestion for a gift for a new mom, might I suggest lasagna?
            Even before my kids were born, plants in my care were destined for the compost bin. My mother’s colleagues gave me a gorgeous peace lily when my husband and I were married. They assured us the plant was easy to care for. All we had to do was, “water it when it looks sad.” I must’ve waited until it was clinically depressed. It didn’t make it until our first anniversary.
            I have had only one success with potted plants. My grandmother had a knack for raising beautiful African violets. When she died in 2001, my cousin bought each of us grandchildren an African violet plant to remember Nana by. I brought the plant to my office, convinced it would suffer the same fate of all my other plants. Every morning I would dump the contents of the previous day’s water glass onto the plant. Much to my surprise, it thrived. I’ve recently been told you aren’t supposed to water the foliage of an African violet. You should water it from a saucer placed underneath the pot so the roots don’t rot. Yet coworkers often admired my beautiful African violet and praised my skill with this difficult plant. I figure my grandmother was watching over the plant while she watched over me. I need a little otherworldly intervention when it comes to raising plants.

Mama’s Losin’ It
            This week I’m linking up with Mama Kat’s writing workshop. I chose the prompt, “Do you have a green thumb? Tell us what kind of gardener you are!”