Monday, 2 February 2015
Away with plants/ A way with plants
This is, or was when I worked for them, a regular occurrence - lease ran out, new rent too high - find another building.
Having a final look round to see that nothing had been left behind I spotted a sad, forlorn, dryish looking variegated Tradescantia sitting miserably on the window sill of an empty room.
Knowing that the building would be likely to remain unoccupied for a very long time, I took pity on it and took it home with me.
Now at that time I quite fancied my chances as a gardener, unlike these days, but had an Achilles heel. Namely, pot plants.
Many people who knew I loved gardens and gardening thought, wrongly, that I also loved pot plants.
Not only could nothing have been further from the truth but, if anyone was unwise enough to make me a present of one, they had effectively sealed its fate.
The unfortunate green thing would take one look at me and die. No matter how much care I took of it, its days were numbered.
This extremely boring green and cream leaved specimen was watered, placed on the kitchen window sill and left to get on with it.
Every few weeks my eye would alight on it and I would guiltily give it a huge drink, then forget it again.
About two years later I noticed it was looking a bit brown and crinkly so removed all the dead leaves
re-potted it in a larger pot, soaked it and fed it a few drops of Baby Bio which had somehow been left over from a previous attempt to save something.
To my surprise it flourished, the green was greener and the cream creamier and it was growing.
After that it got a 'haircut' about every 6 months or so and somewhere down the line was re-potted again.
A half-hour ago I realised that it was sitting green and relatively healthy on the window sill where it has lived for twenty-three years.
It is totally pot-bound almost compost-less and yet it still flourishes.
I have heard of plants which thrive on neglect, but this is just plain ridiculous. At this rate it will outlive me.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 10:40:00 pm