Please don’t take this the wrong way and drop all your leaves or anything, but it’s time for me to decide who will spend the winter with me, and who has to go.
First, on a positive note, I am thrilled with the performances of several of you. Fern garden: I could gaze at you for hours. You are welcome to stay here as long as you like. Oxalis, you never fail to amaze me with your constant flowering. And that purple foliage is a standout. Keep up the good work. Ficus, I know you suffered on the deck in that sun and wind when we moved. I hope you recover soon. The same goes for you, hibiscus. I see you are already sending out leaves where I cut you back. Next summer it would be nice if you could get off your roots and flower already.
Christmas cactus, when you arrived as a gift last December, I hoped you would flower your little head off. I watched you anxiously all summer, but you did not grow at all – not even a tiny bit. But lo and behold, all of a sudden you burst forth with buds everywhere. Nice.Very nice.
Geraniums, you continue to flower years after my mother-in-law begged me to keep you over one winter. Hah! I knew you’d never leave. Anyway, you look pretty and your flowers are cheery, so keep it up.
Rosemary topiary, you have spent your entire life indoors, so I was astounded when you flowered this past summer – lovely little blue flowers. You’re one of my originals, and besides that, you smell great and I can use you in my cooking. I like multitaskers.
And you, cyclamen, who arrived at the hospital to cheer me when I was laid up a year ago. You are never out of bloom. I did repot you and got you out of that nasty plastic thing, but I think you’d flower no matter what.
Orchids: most of you have had a good year. I am very impressed with the performances of the following: most of the phaelenopsis, and the new aerangis citrata. I am less than gaga over the zygopetalum, the dendrobium and the oncidium, which, despite my best efforts, continue to languish. Well, my exotic little friends, it’s time to throw out some spikes or buds or whatever, because my patience has its limits.
Meyer lemon and Plumeria, don’t think you’ll sneak under the radar. Lemon, what is it with you? I even bought you that special chelated iron you were whimpering for, and you have not grown one teeny bit since I took you home. Plumeria, I know you didn’t enjoy the move, and I let you to sulk for a while. But are those new leaves you’re starting to push out? I hope so.
Finally, I must remind all of you that there is a give and take here. Taking a space in my house and receiving loving care from me must be rewarded with performance on your part. If there is anything you need that I am not providing, please let me know as soon as possible. Otherwise, a few of you slackers – and you know who you are – may wake up one morning in a different spot: the compost bin.