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  • Emily Gold

Tending, Continued


I have an assortment of plants on a shelf at my south facing window. They're a motley crew of flora that I've bought over the years. Several are seasonal purchases that I can't bear to get rid of, like my thriving Norfolk Island pine and Christmas cactus, who are going strong after several years. I'm a total sucker for orchids, of which I had an obsession with when I was in my teens. I thought for many years that I didn't get enough light in my house to grow them, but I finally couldn't resist. I bought a small one a few years ago, was given one by my mom from her collection, and my husband and daughter bought me a large one for Mother's Day. In the last month or so, they've all decided that the conditions are perfect, and all three have buds. The largest of them has a stalk of big, white, elegant flowers. I have a newfound obsession with air plants, and I have several arranged in a large glass container on my table, so I can enjoy them when I'm sitting at the table.

I usually buy my plants while shopping at the grocery store or Home Depot. It's almost a reward for the drudgery of having to run errands. I'm here shopping for food, so oooh, I earned this anthurium. A good name wins points with me, too---that's how I acquired Crispy Wave fern. Not every plant works out for me. Cyclamen remind me of visiting Tuscany during the winter, where they were blooming everywhere, but I don't do well with them. I recently bought a Chinese evergreen with variegated green and pink leaves which is supposed to be one of the easier plants to grow. It got so many yellow leaves so quickly that finally I sat it outside to succumb to the elements.

I don't usually give up on my plants. I'll move them around the house, try different watering schedules, and put them outside in the summer to find their optimal conditions. But sometimes, it just doesn't work out. I think that's a good lesson to remember. Sometimes you have to let go, move on, and that's okay.


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