Running Free

Running Free

Friday, January 23, 2009

Green Thumb

A green thumb is not something I have at my disposal. If anything, my opposing digit is closer to the hue of dirty dishwater in color. It is opposed to anything remotely related to green life and plants and leaves and flowers and sod. I wish it wasn’t so, but alas, it is.

Which brings me to the point of this posting. Water. Or lack thereof. No, I am not going to wax eloquent about the state of perpetual drought that plagues the state of California and the southwest in general I believe.

Rather, I am going to lament and mope about the sad state of the three plants in my home – which I inherited from the previous owners by the way. They are all of the Ficus variety I believe. And in an effort to keep them alive and in the state of perpetual health I have given them names: Henry, the sometimes hearty green leafed plant dresses our dining room table in an urn-like pot. He unfortunately gets droopy all too often making me feel like a true heel for not paying better attention.
Ivy is my little potted plant that sits in the kitchen windowsill. She gets talked to the most, but she unlike Henry suffers from over watering and goes limp and yellow.
And then there is the King of the house, Sir Harold. He is a magnificent creature in a twenty or thirty gallon pot that resides in our family room. He has a special drinking tube that I am supposed to remember to fill every few weeks as well as rotate his heavy humped bottom. The key word here is ‘remember.’

With no disrespect to anyone suffering or dealing with senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (it was actually my undergrad thesis back in the mid ‘80’s so I have a great deal of respect for this disease and the turmoil it brings). But that said, I sometimes think I am suffering from presenile dementia of the previously mentioned type. I do not remember to water Sir Harold – until he seems to be a shriveled and rather unsightly Charlie Brown-like tree.

I sigh and moan and sometimes apologize to these green vestures of life and rebirth- for being so dependent upon me for their very existence. I did some preliminary searching to understand these three plants to see if perhaps I could get some insight into how I should improve my green thumb and horticultural understanding.

All of the websites that I visited pretty much said the same thing when it came to information about indoor plants: Pothos (of which I think my three plants fall) can handle a wide variety of indoor conditions that rival some of the best indoors plants. (Good to know).

Well, that cheered me up a bit- perhaps Henry wasn’t beyond resuscitation after all. According to the plant experts, such house plants are ‘able to adapt to and endure lower light conditions and generally poor treatment,’ well that did it then. My plants were engineeringly designed to handle the likes of me and my poor nurturing skills.

One would think really, how hard can it be to:

· Regularly water
· Fertilize,
· Trim, prune
· Dust and shine leaves

Let us just say, that it is more difficult than one might think. At least in my case.

Which reminds me, I need to check on my leafy friends….

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