Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In Which I Receive Messages from My Mother's Plants


My mother asked me to take care of her plants while she was in Aruba.

I sighed. Plants and I don’t have a great working relationship – especially houseplants. I do like flowers in my garden, but I don’t want to work very hard for them. I admit I really enjoy their beauty in the spring, and I will proudly post pictures on Facebook (and even sometimes here on the blog). But rest assured, I get bored with tending them by mid-summer at the latest. I even confessed as much last August and posted a picture here of my LANDSCAPE FAIL efforts.

But at least the outside plants get rained on. Houseplants don’t make out as well. They’re kind of on their own recognizance if they live with me. I can only recall two plants I ever managed to keep alive more than a month or two. One was a spider plant I had throughout college. (Although I can’t recall what happened to it now. I think my mom might have confiscated it.)

The other is an aloe plant I received from a student 6 or 7 years ago.

Bob interjects here: “Hon, that aloe plant actually doesn’t look so good.”

Me: “Oh, it’s fine!!”




So, I always worry a bit when I am handed responsibility for the greenhouse that is my mom’s sunroom. (Not to mention the other plants scattered hither and yon throughout the house.) First of all, I have to write myself a bazillion reminders just to go over there and water them at all. (Plus Mom calls me from Aruba and reminds me to do it.) Secondly, my technique at watering is this: Pour in water until it starts to overflow. Then ignore for several months.

But Mom’s plants are fussy.

Luckily, when I went over to do my duty last week, I discovered little red notes stuck to all the plants. They said things like this:

Water me, but I don’t like to be soaked.
Fill up my dish please.
Just a little. I’m resting for the winter.
None for us, thanks.


Nice of my mom’s plants to give me little messages like that, huh? If my aloe plant had a message for me, I wonder if it would be quite as civil.

8 comments:

  1. I have a brown thumb, too. I'm down to one living houseplant, and I like it that way. When I had a bunch, the pressure was too much.

    Love your mom's notes. Sounds like she knows you well. ;)

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  2. We don't have houseplants because I kill them. Fortuantely I've better luck with children. But they remind me when they're hungry. Quite loudly too. ;)

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  3. Hah! That's adorable. Oh, moms. I do the same to my poor plants. Though I do have a key lime bush that I bought in a box in FL seven years ago. Lord knows how that one is still living. Maybe it's the occasional shower I give it. (I literally stick it in a hot shower for a minute or two)

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  4. ha! you and I are the same when it comes to plants. My outdoor plants fare pretty well because there's plenty of sun and it usually rains enough to keep them well, plus I notice them since I spend a lot of time on my porch. But my inside plants? They practically have to be screaming before I remember them. Poor things. Love the notes your mom left. How clever!

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  5. hi miss dianne! that pretty fun that your moms plants got notes on them. ha ha. we house sat at a cousin one time and her husband put a different color dot on those inside plants and did a long note with color dots and by each color it said how much water and what day and he left a measure cup so we could get it just right. did us guys do it? naaaaah. ha ha.
    ...smiles and laughs from lenny

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  6. That's great your mom is so good with plants. I'm a lot like you. Easy plants and I get along just fine:)

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  7. How sweet of the plants to leave notes about how to care for them. Maybe some of the plants I used to have would have survived if they had done the same thing!

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  8. My God! That's exactly what my aloe vera looked like, right down to the pot. Since it has departed this mortal coil, I wonder if it's haunting you now.

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