I have taken to gardening. This is highly unusual for me. Being a “modern” woman, incapable of even cooking for the longest time, I have discovered that I can have plants and that they won’t die. That’s huge. In the past, I tried growing things. I couldn’t even coerce a plant to grow from a bulb. I killed a cactus. I took all of it as a sign that I am simply not a plant person and I shouldn’t be near them.
Then I got my current job and I inherited a scrappy-looking desk plant that I knew was destined to die. The first few times I watered it, I didn’t realize the stuff was laced with cleaner. Oops. The poor plant withered, but carried on. I gave it fresh water and it came back. And then I forgot to water it for a couple of months. It sits on my desk and I could not remember to bring in a cup even though I only live a building over. It started withering again. Then I remembered to bring it something to drink and like magic it came right back.
After that, we had a nice little relationship going. It had forgiven me for my mistreatment and was willing to continue living for me. The leaves spread out on my desk, reaching for the phone, the window, and my computer screen. I didn’t want to trim these beautiful new growths, so I’ve let them continue while keeping an eye on the thing so that they don’t go where they shouldn’t.
And then it bloomed! This particular plant is not a stunner usually, but when those strange little bell shaped flowers appeared all over the new growths, cascading down my desk, wow! I felt like I’d done something other than just remembering to water it and let it grow. Some of the tenants noticed too. “It must like you.” Personally, I’m pretty sure it’s just begging me not to feed it cleaner again.
Well, I felt so confident in my abilities to water something regularly, when my brother offered me a mini-rose someone had given him, I accepted. It bloomed and grew into a decent little bush. My niece and nephew asked for regular updates. “So is it still alive?” “Have you killed it yet?”
I have not! I was sure during the winter that I had, but my mom assured me that it was normal for a rose bush of any sort to hibernate so that look of death upon it was not my fault. And now it’s started sprouting again. I was so happy that I bought my first herb plant just two weeks ago. Because I’ve also started cooking at home this past year which is another thing I didn’t believe I could do. Or it was another thing I didn’t really care to learn to do. And yet here I am now happily cooking up concoctions with things lying around my kitchen that are actually edible.
There is only one problem so far with this little garden outside my apartment door– it’s a magnet for spiders.