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1.20.2012

VERMILLION OF THE POTTED VARIETY

From where I sit at my desk at work I can see a large spider plant in a two-tone brownish hued ceramic planter sitting atop a 3-foot metal plant stand.   The plant is ugly, but it appears to be horticulturally thriving with its many, many new offshoots.   There are so many new little "spider" beginnings that it now brushes the floor.  I know very few people who like real spiders and yet we are to find this plant attractive?  My mom has always had indoor plants.  A few of them are quite beautiful; rich and vibrant African Violets.   Most though, are wannabes or couldhavebeens.   She has, much like her propensity to keep celery wrapped in tin foil until well past its usable and crunchy state, kept some plants that really don't have any visual beauty.   I had to water her plants while they were in Florida for several months one winter.   I killed several, mostly not on purpose.   Mostly:)   I love outdoor plant life.  Normally, I have great luck with growing things out-of-doors.   I don't though have any luck with growing anything plant-like in the house.   Anything is a big and undefined absolute word.   I have never tried to grow a Chia Pet in the house.   That seems like a plant-for-dummies kind of house plant.   I'm sure I would be highly successful with that.   Both of my grandmothers were magnificently green thumbed with house plants.   Even one of my friends, as a kid, blossomed with her botanical skills successfully growing a marijuana plant from seed in a large planter in her parent's house (yes, they knew it was pot!).   She expressed an interest to her mom, a curiosity to see how tall that pot plant would grow.   Her mom allowed it!   It was the 1970's.   What can you say!   When it reached maximum height, she quit watering it and let it die.   All that work without the medicinal and recreational benefits.   A couple of years ago for Mother's Day my daughter bought me a beautiful square green ceramic plant pot.   It was a light jadish color and sat on a square basin.   In it came all the needed ingredients to grow a beautiful pot of wispy vining pansies.   The picture on the packaging clearly denoted the fully grown product would be beautiful.   I did exactly what the instructions for maximum growth said.   I continued its after planting care, consciously and systematically urging it to grow to maturity.   A few shoots broke the soil.   They were frail looking.   No cause for alarm, they were young shoots destined to grow.   I waited. And waited. And waited.   The pot seemed huge for the 4 wispy frail looking shoots that drooped over the edge.   That was it.   My four shoots, which didn't even fill 1/32nd of the planter, looked nothing like that picture on the packaging.   My daughter accused me of not watering it.   Of somehow not talking to it or planting the seeds at the wrong depth.  It mocked me for a couple of months as it sat there unwilling to grow.   I rarely buy poinsettias, Easter lilies (ok I hate the smell of them!), or indoor flowering seasonal plants.   Instead, I just take a $20 bill and light a match to it. It's faster than watching a plant die a slow death at my hand.

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