Permanent Houseguests

Behold my humble geraniums. They were not always mine. I do not grow these in the summer. My mother-in-law grows them though, and at the end of the season there is always one she can’t bear to throw away. The first year, under extreme pressure, I agreed to overwinter the pink one. The next year, she begged me to do the same for a red one. The thing is, they just stayed, and never saw her garden again.

Since my success with these, my mother-in-law has tried to persuade me to take other plants of hers – even bedding plants such as begonias and impatiens. (She is  unclear on the concept of annuals.) But I stand firm and draw the line. Two geraniums it is and will forever be. In my sunny living room window they sit, taking up a fair bit of precious houseplant space. To be fair, they rarely stop flowering, and they do bring a summery touch to the room.

Do you find that once people know you are a gardener, or at least proficient with houseplants, they tend to bring you their unwanted and ailing plants so you can “rehab them  for a while?” Sometimes, they don’t even bother with that ruse. They just hand you the plants and tell you to keep them or throw them away. And you know what comes next: finding a spot to quarantine the newcomer, which is invariably infested with something  highly contagious, and finally, the feelings of guilt when you eventually do have to throw it away.

At least these geraniums are healthy.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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3 Responses to Permanent Houseguests

  1. gardenpest says:

    responding to your “how people react when they discover that you are a gardener”: Sometimes I feel as if I’m a clinician at a cocktail party, you know, the person whom people are compelled to tell their woes. OK, that part is fine. I don’t mind listening but the following is what bugs me.

    What bugs me is this: after a lengthy vague description of their plant problem (“well, you know, it’s a plant with yellow flowers ……”), the problem plant questioner expects an immediate easy fix and have no appreciation of why I am asking questions. And at least 75% shrugged off suggestions that are based on “do the least harm” approach. Final response from them: ” sounds like too much work, I’ll just go to Home Depot and ask them for what chemical I can blast the plant with”. Sigh.

    And on another topic: my Maine locavore,who manages monthly bean suppahs, couldn’t find One Pie pumpkin last week and was forced to use OP squash.


    • dirtynailz says:

      I hear you, GP. Instant gratification is what it’s all about – although that isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it comes to pumpkin….


  2. HerbDoc says:

    Not to get on the One Pie kick again, but the some of the local stores are now loaded with it! I just knew it would happen and am waiting for a big sale so I can restock for next year!


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