The mini mission for today is plant related clutter. This could be potted plants that have seen better days, potting supplies and tools, gardening equipment, or even wild overgrown garden plants. But the thought behind the inclusion of this post was people receiving potted plants as gifts and not being able to part with them even when they have become straggly and unattractive as potted plants often do over time. This can happen if they are kept in the wrong environment with poor lighting or harsh conditions like in an air-conditioned office.
Let me create a scenario for you. Mary works in an office with no windows and thinks it needs a little sprucing up with a plant or two to add a little Mother Nature to the atmosphere. She generously gifts the office some lovely potted plants. Neither Mary nor her colleges have green thumbs but do remember to water the plants so they stay alive at least. The lighting is poor and the plants grow stringy trying to reach the light as plants do and they are never fertilised so they don’t thrive. Mary eventually moves on to a new position in another firm near by but drops in often to visit her old work friends. These friends realise that the plants are looking pretty sad and frankly detract form the otherwise cheery atmosphere of the office but are now reluctant to replace them because they were a gift to the office from Mary who drops in on a regular basis and would notice them gone. So it would be wrong to get rid of them right?
No! Mary probably thinks they look dreary too and is probably wondering why they are still there. My advice would be to give them a holiday from the office, take them home and see if a little tender loving care will revive their previous healthy condition. If that doesn’t work just replace them with similar plants using the old planter pots.
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I gave my mother a plant for Mothers Day once, it was a golden cypress bush. I must have been about ten at the time. She planted it in the from yard at our house. My father later decided to put a driveway in down the side where the cypress was growing. Instead of just cutting it down he moved it to a new position. I don’t know if he did this under mum’s insistence because I had given it to her, until now I have never given it a thought. Anyway the cyress thrived in its new position and soon grew to about ten feet high. A couple of years later they sold the house and moved to another and the tree was left behind. So I bought my mum a new golden cyress for her next mothers day gift. She seemed to like the first one so why not. About three years later we moved from that house too but we never continued the tradition of the golden cypress plant and it didn’t matter to either off us. It never did matter, the original gift was just another gift the second one just seemed appropriate and by the third house I probably came up with better gift ideas or had more money to spend.
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My daughter bought me an indoor plant for mothers day just after we moved into the house in which we currently reside. It had been in the same position for four years until this past Christmas. I used the planter I bought for it to hold the Christmas tree (twigs) and put the plant outside in a shady part of the garden for a little holiday. Alas its leaves got burnt by the sun and I had to trim it back so much that it no longer was big enough for the planter so I bought a new plant and left the other in another spot in the garden to see if it would recuperate. If my daughter noticed it gone when she visited last week she certainly didn’t mention it. I just went out to check and the plant has actually sprouted a new shoot, something it has never done indoors. Had it died so be it. I am sure my kids haven’t kept every gift I have given them either.
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One last story. A friend gave me a blueberry bush as a thank you gift because she knows I don’t like clutter. I liked this gift simply because I like blueberries and hoped it would grow into a thriving bush and yeild a bountiful crop. I realise this could take a while and wasn’t expecting miracles in the first year. It took me a while to plant the bush but since then, probably thanks to the abundant rain this year, it has indeed thrived. Keep in mind it was only a tiny bush and now it is three times the size. My tiny bush yielded me only three delicious blueberries last year but I am hoping for a bigger crop next spring. If next year the rain is not so abundant and my blueberry bush dies from neglect because I am a lazy gardener it will be not big deal. If this was the case and my friend asked what became of it I would tell her it didn’t survive my brown thumb. I have a natural culling process in my garden, that is if it survives my neglect it must be a good hardy plant meant for the local conditions and belongs in my garden. She would understand, not that I think she would even ask or that it is going to die because I have actually taken particular care of this plant.
So the moral of these stories is a plant is just a plant. Like humans they live and die and sometimes it takes more expertise than you have to take care of them properly. So do your best and if it doesn’t work out don’t loose any sleep over it. And if you work in an office with sorry looking plants offer to take them home and give them some tender loving care and if that fails just replace them and either admit to your failing or pretend the replacements are the old plants that have thrived from your green thumb.
Today’s Declutter Item
What’s worse than real plant clutter? That’s right, fake plant clutter. This pathetic example was “decorating” the top of my kitchen cupboards until I was up there cleaning them off a couple of weeks ago. It was so caked in kitchen grime and I didn’t like it anyway so I threw the plant in the bin and donated the pot and stand to the thrift store.
Something I Am Grateful For Today
A break in the weather so I could walk to the post office to mail some ebay sales.
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast