I am writing this column on a day in which the temperature is projected to reach 85 degrees. Up until today, it has been unseasonably and unreasonably cold. The winter, while unimpressive, has lingered for well into mid-May.
Nevertheless, I took a chance this weekend, as things became verdant and I could venture out, midday, without a jacket, and I put the plants out.
I may be all thumbs but none of them are green. I am not sure how I have amassed such a collection of fauna, but sometime in September, as frost threatened, I brought the plants indoors. After spending the summer on the porch, lovingly trimmed, fed and watered, I found interior spots where they could winter over, blasted by the forced hot air, chilled by the constant drafts, and bereft of the rays of sunlight that they so desperately need to thrive.
Most plants did better than they have in the past. Only a few look as if they need to take care of their affairs and call the family to their bedsides. There are plenty of brown edges on some of the leaves; the jade plant was not very happy, but I have arranged them all in sunny spots, given them some water, and already in the few days out there, they are all looking much happier.
In the distant past, I inherited some large houseplants after a family mix-up and we became roommates. At the time, I was completely incapable of taking care of myself, so I was a terrible housemate if you were dependent on me. Remarkably, many of the plants thrived and while I am not sure what fate ultimately had in store for them, I would bet they were alive today if I could remember where they went.
Not so my little ragtag family of chlorophyll churning carbon dioxide breathers. I try to remember to attend to them at least weekly and because of that, they are — mostly — happy.
I know when this column is printed, I will be sweltering between confined air-conditioned spaces. I will be complaining of the relentless heat and humidity. I knew this even as I complained six paragraphs ago about the unending winter we have all just endured.
There is a swayback wicker loveseat on the porch where I can sit and relax, where breezes offering some relief from the heat. It is there that I can sit and soak in the gratitude that my plants exude for keeping them going another year.