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Another day, another dead plant. May 20, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, wit and wisdom.
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1 comment so far

“Silence! Get out here!”

“What’s wrong, Ben? Don’t tell me a raccoon has attacked our goldfish! What’s going on out… oh, not again.”

Our friend Ben was pointing melodramatically to a pitiful plant, its leaves curled and withered, that had appeared on our deck with this note:

Dear OFB and Silence,

            Help Me Please!!


                        Ms. Gardenia Bonsai

P.S. I had to escape—Joan* was trying to kill me!!

* Not her real name.

The care instructions for the unfortunate gardenia were thoughtfully there with the plant and note, and they mentioned that the plant had been nurtured into its present form for three years before being sold. Three years of care and attention, and now this—another expiring plant. Another expiring plant dumped on me and Silence Dogood.

This is far from the first time we’ve had this delightful experience. People apparently assume that, because we love plants and gardening, we’re some kind of plant hospice. We’ve been given a cycad that was down to its last leaf and a poinsettia that had freeze-dried after being left outside on a 15-degree night. And that’s not the worst of it.

We don’t understand why people wait until the plant is either dead or near death, and then, rather than tossing it, decide to dump it on us. If they’d give it to us when it starts to decline rather than waiting ’til the last gasp, we’d have a much better chance of saving it. We’d be happy to restore the plants to life and return them to their rightful owners, with idiot-proof care instructions, if they would just give us a fighting chance.

We’re still hopeful for the cycad. And we’ve put the poor gardenia in our plant ER in a semi-shaded spot outside the greenhouse, watered it with compost tea, and are keeping an eye on it to see if there’s any hope for a comeback.

One thing’s certain: If you’re a plant person, we’ll bet this has happened to you, too.