THIS IS NOT THE PLANT THAT DIED - this was a gift, and it has inspired me to become its caretaker 24/7

The last time I had a plant, it died.

I didn't intend to kill it. After scrolling through pinterest and seeing trendy plant life in every office setup, I gave in to peer pressure and drove down to the plant barn. While wandering through shelves of droopy greens, I did pause to wonder if I should have let myself get this far. I am not a warden of the earth - I do not garden. It's a bit ridiculous, but the only time I had ever gardened was under terms of contractual obligation (*my parents made me) and adequate compensation (*I got paid). It rained, my mascara dripped, and my wrists glittered themselves with an itchy rash. I didn't like it and neither did the plants. I'm certain the sow thistle gave me disgraceful hand signals as it exited (dramatically) in a wheelbarrow. 

I'm up to isle 3 in the plant section (I'd shifted to indoor plants by now - I realised this is a more suitable option for, well, the indoors), and it occurred that I should probably research my decision (buying a plant is a SERIOUS commitment). I retrieved a list of 10 Most Popular Indoor Plants and carefully selected a pot of shrubbery to adopt. I read the labels to find the plant with the least involvement - I found one with lime, rubbery leaves, and apparently it only needed watering every 2 - 3 weeks. 

I was shocked by the price of it - only $10! I'm driving home, celebrating the thought that I practically made money on it. (What was I expecting? To pay for a car? It's part of nature, Madison, a heightened portion of grass. Think this through slowly, carefully. Grass). I had already bought a pot, so when I got home I performed the transplant quickly and quietly, with a few words of welcome to the Plant, and outlined the terms and conditions it must obey (I assume the Plant agreed. Silence most always/nearly means yes). 

I'll admit that my care taking style was similar to that of distracted dog owner, who haphazardly lets their freakish beast run wild while half-supervising. I was fairly non attentive.  But I watered it, however inconsistent, and the plant should have been grateful and just made do. There aren't parenting books for plants (I checked) but we know that parents have different styles - I created a new genre called 'flood watering,' where every 3 weeks, you realise that you've forgotten to water your plant, so you leap up from your desk to the bathroom, fill up a jug, and frantically pour 2 litres down the throat of your unfortunate shrub. In terms of averages, the plant would technically be getting enough water each day, I argue. 

One morning I was involved in a search for hair pins, when I noticed a steadily growing pool of water, slowly taking over my dressing table. I traced it back to the source, and it was confirmed: I lifted up my plant and discovered streams of murky liquid rushing from it. Is plant rage a thing? It should be. I was mad that the litres upon litres of water I had faithfully (*irregularly) poured upon this plant were being wasted. The shrub had too much water.

I'll ask you this: if a fat person is trying to lose weight, do you feed them glazed donuts? No! You restrict access to the source of their excess. So, I stopped watering my plant (not fully - but I wanted to make sure it would digest the water it already had). Mentally, it was just a great excuse to forget about the rubbery-leafed thing even more

Weeks passed, and this whole thing kind of escaped my radar for a while. Until I smelt a bad smell. It was sinful and impure, this smell cannot be described, it can only be eradicated, I thought. Everything in my room was uprooted, and 20 minutes into my investigation I couldn't track it down. I had my suspicions, so I just moved a few suspects out, including the plant. 

This may seem like a lazy solution, but it makes complete sense: I moved it to the bathroom. Just like when we discover problems in our lives, we hide them in the closets of our hearts to deal with later. Surely, if the plant was the stench, it would sort itself out. I'm not supposed to feed it, water it, and give it life advice too?  

My friend came over and immediately looked disgusted. I reciprocated her facial expression and completely agreed - I shared my struggles of trying to locate the smell too. She went silent for a while and drifted around my house trying to locate the stench. 

"It's your plant." 

My friend looked grave as she spoke, and also ungrateful that she had been the one to discover - life isn't fair, sweetie. 

In a gust of honest irresponsibility, we shifted the plant outside to the top of an old barbecue. It was uncomfortable, because neither of us felt like burying it, and it definitely didn't deserve a funeral. It might just, decompose over time? (Basically, we could no longer smell it i.e. problem solved.)  

I watched it for a few days. It's easier to be sympathetic when there is strong window blocking out odours and other misfortunes.  I went through a very half-hearted grieving process and then decided it was time to say goodbye.

R.I.P little guy. You were loved (*kind of ignored whoops) for several months and I will always remember (*probably forget by Tuesday) your contribution to my life (*the corner of my desk before I had to relocate you to the crusty barbecue outside). Many thanks.

Madison xx

1 comment:

  1. I really want to get a couple of plants for mt room, but I will for sure forget to water them!
    Aleeha xXx


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