of us have heard that old saying that goes something like…. “In the spring time
a young man’s something or another goes to fancy or something…” I forgot most
of it, but you know what I mean. Anyway, here we are in the middle of winter and
once we have one or two clear, warm and pleasant days, you can bet most of us
are out doing what we normally do this time each and every year. Head to the nursery
and buy new flowers and plants. I happen to like things that bloom and look nice.
I just don’t like what happens once they get planted in my yard.
plants that bud and grow all spring, summer and most of the fall. However, it
seems that for nearly all of my adult life I’ve managed to buy mostly what the
stores call “annuals”. In my case, I think they should be changed to “monthlies”
or in some case “weeklies”. In fact the term could even be better expressed as
“weaklies”. I have the unique distinction of being able to take a perfectly healthy
plant or flower from the store and you can bet it’ll begin to spiral into the
final throes of death before I have driven 10 miles. I’m almost certain that if
I could hear plant talk, I’d be able to hear them screaming … “no, no, not him….anyone
but him…please don’t let him take me….”
Fortunately my hearing is not
as good as it once was, so if they do yell, I can’t tell. I’m the dark avenger
of the plant world. Once I get these expensive objects home and put them into
pots with soil as directed… I move them to the most advantageous locations that
are called for in the directions. I follow the directions very closely. Then I
eagerly await their growth and blooming cycles, which almost certainly never happen
as portrayed on the sales information. I believe I could be a plant tester for
any major landscape company. If it lived under my care, then it’ll live anywhere.
Tested by Perry might become famous…there’s a thought.
Several years ago
I was given a 20 year Bonsai for Christmas. A beautiful plant, but it died in
a matter of months. What was I doing wrong here? Do the plant people want these
things to die so you have to keep coming back year after year? (You think) How
do they get all of them to bloom at the same time when you are in the store? If
they wilt at my house in a week, wouldn’t they have wilted at the store as well,
and if so where are they now? You don’t see wilted flowers and plants in the stores.
It must be flower fairies who change them all out each night.
thing I’ve noticed…..you can get the pots all filled and looking nice and then
next winter when you have to move them inside to keep them from freezing each
pot now weighs about 5 times as much. Perhaps I’m growing a new species called
Concretus Potus or something. All I know is these things now have to lugged around
with a forklift. They look and feel really hardy, but looks can be deceiving.
You’re thinking nothing short of a nuclear blast can kill this baby. Then the
first night you forget to bring everything inside, and the temperature drops below
freezing for about 12 seconds, that hardy thing you couldn’t move is guaranteed
to shrivel, droop and die before dawn. Then you’re faced with the daunting challenge
of what to do with the dead carcass and how you can dismember it in such a way
as to get it into the garbage. Since the average garbage collector won’t touch
anything not wrapped, tied or bound according to the "Sanitary Refuse Haulers
Convention Agreement of Vienna , 1895” , you can bet the dead thing will be hanging
around longer than you’d like.
My garbage guys follow the Vienna rules
so closely they won’t pick up things that are left out on the wrong side of the
trashcans. Dead plants fall into some different category than the usual stuff
we throw away. Try sticking something with thorns into a plastic bag. This could
qualify as some form of new Olympic contest. In some cases I’ve found that mailing
the dead plant stuff to someone is actually cheaper and easier than getting into
an argument with Bruno the head trash collector on our block. Of course, so would
buying plastic flowers and shrubs. But then they wouldn’t ever bloom would they?
Hope springs eternal…or something like that.
Comments go to www.pearyperry.com.
Complaints go nowhere.
© Peary Perry
From North America - January 6, 2010 column
in 80 newspapers
Comments go to firstname.lastname@example.org