Friday, April 22, 2011

Green Thumb versus Black Thumb

Being a gardener is not always nor only about success in growing things. I read somewhere: "If you're not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." JC Roulston. That brought a lot of comfort to me (& still does!) during times of failure. Sometimes I take foolish pride in seeing more death than life & I try to tell myself that I really must be a great gardener...

That brings us to Spring - where the killing fields are vast & the victims are random. Take my houseplants; I love greenery in the house & have a rather large family. They all have their own personalities & demands & most times I'm happy to oblige. But with all the seedlings bursting forth in brilliance, I find myself looking at the houseplants with a more critical eye.

This is one of my spider plants. Oh! The poor thing!! Yes, it's root bound, dried out & in too much sunshine (gasp - too much sunshine in the spring?!).

I have 2 other spider plants that are doing much better, but are also root bound & will receive therapy later on this year - more than likely in the fall when I will proceed to conduct strict surgery & remove half of the plant from each pot.

Houseplant love can become quite savage at times...

But this plant is currently hanging outside, getting nipped by frost in the mornings, baked by the sun in the afternoons & continues to dry out & die slowly. It's sad - I should put it & myself out of misery - if I only had time from playing in the dirt of the gardens...


Now my hoya is a different story. I've grown this character for about 7 years & this year, it is rewarding me with 10 blooms. Today, there are 8 that are open & in the evening while relaxing on the couch - directly underneath the plant - it is absolute torture! The stench that fills the house when the sun goes down is sort of like rotting flowers (I thought it was the compost the first few nights). I might actually have a slight allergy to it...

But I can't bear to cut the flowers off! Why would I do that?! They are so beautiful & abundant this year. We have come to an understanding - finally - as to where it likes to live & how to keep it watered. It's rather heavy to be lifting down from the hook it's on & it doesn't really fit into the bathtub anymore for a good long soak. I have one of those glass watering balls that I regularly fill & then jam into the pot. Seems to be working...

Maybe all hoya blossoms stink or maybe I've found a plant that I love so much that the torture of the rewards are something I will live with - as long as it doesn't bloom more than once a year.

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