Wednesday, August 3, 2011

the jade plant

sunshine spills in the cottage. it pours through half-closed blinds and washes the sofa during these dog days. it lays its rays on the kitchen counter at high noon and cuts a line across to the sink, illuminating unwashed dishes when no one's home to see.

but i can't keep a houseplant. the little windowsill above my sink does well enough, with begonias and a jalapeno plant reaching their green faces to the sky. but an actual potted plant? droopy within days. immediately yellow.

i blame it on my need to over-nurture. let's not forget, i'm the girl who tucks her dog into a velvet blanket each night and prays over him. so i behave with plants. they are alive. dependent on me. my responsibility. so i do what my own mama does--i feed them heaping portions. as mama shovels chicken pie onto our plates even as we insist we only want a tiny slice, so i fill up my watering pail and feed the plants every morning. it's too much. it kills them.

but i come from a long line of women who show love through food. it's in my nature and i'll inevitably pass it down to my children. i can think of worse problems to have.

so i did something the other day. i bought a jade plant. the little tag said it didn't need much water. didn't even need much sunshine. i believe the exact phrase was "excellent for beginners. requires low maintenance."

a plant that doesn't need me too much? yes, please.

however, every morning, right before heading out the door in my heels, i take the plant from the living room and place it on the counter, where sunlight can fill it and it can stretch. i can't help it. and so far, he's a resilient little thing, growing only up.

and so nature blends with nurture. the two currents joining in a symbiotic relationship fueled by good intent. that's what i'm going to keep reminding myself--it's the intent that matters. long after the leaves turn yellow.


Anonymous said...

I do the same thing! Marshall says I love them too much. Maybe I do love them too much. But it's really hot out, and I'd hate for them to be thirsty all day while I'm gone. We're successfully parenting about 4 plants now, but if he weren't around to obstruct me from overwatering every few hours, I don't know what I'd do :)

Pablo has a velvet blanket? Oh my gosh, I'm going to cry. That is so adorable!

Christi said...

You chose a good one. I've had a jade plant a friend gave me for over three years now, and I can overwater it or neglect it, and it still does just fine. I just need to repot it so it has more room!

Mo Pie, Please said...

Our jade plant survived a brutal trip from Chicago to Louisville and then a week and a half in a super hot garage while we were in living limbo. They are seriously so resilient when they're strong enough. My husband babies it, he he!

Thisisme. said...

I'm the same as you. I'm very good with plants in my garden, but give me a potted plant and I inwardly groan, because I know the poor thing will be dead within a couple of months!! I am sure your Jade plant will flourish knowing that it is loved!

DaisyGirl said...

That's a pretty plant!!! And the kind I need. I have a hard time keeping anything alive, as well. But the one plant I can keep going is Philodendron. You can forget to water them, they'll droop and then come back alive once watered. You can also over water and they'll make it. PERFECT! haha!!

Have a great day!

Amber Blue Bird said...

I have the same problem keeping plants alive only I tend to forget about them and only realize that I havent watered them when they are all brown and gross. I was definitely not blessed with a green thumb,


we had tons of these in and out of our house. lovely shot. come by and visit the blog. i started a project. i'd be interested to see your point of view. have a fab day!

Shalyn said...

I want to meet you someday. I think you are a fantastic person and really think I could learn from you. I love that you are so nurturing!

Stephanie said...

You should find a plant with a tag that says "Please nurture me" :)

cara said...

the same reason i bought a tillandasia, very low maintenance. mint plants are good too, because they require little water, smell delicious, and you can use them in yummy summer drinks!

Eleanor at Mirror Of My World said...

so sweet :) xxxx

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