Moving Away from a Disposable World? Do plants count?


I bring my herbs inside each winter and enjoy the rosemary, thyme, sage, chives, and oregano throughout New England’s cold weather months. I’ve managed to keep parsley alive too. In fact the only exception is basil, which dies before Thanksgiving typically.

DSC04156

Parsley

I’m not an expert gardener, just a hack who wings it without bothering to read the latest on horticultural advances.  I just thought that’s what people do with their potted herbs, until two separate and  very serious gardeners told me they can never keep their herbs alive over the winter by bringing them inside. What? You haven’t had the same chive plant for 5 years?

chives

Happy chive is old enough to head to school, if there were public school for herbs.Photo by Alison Colby-Campbell

Suddenly I started rethinking EVERYTHING and wondering about best practices for herb maintenance. It didn’t help; in fact they looked pretty miserable, some succumbed to the better care. So I went back to ignoring them and feeling guilty because it had been so long since they’d been watered, the soil seemed to have forgotten how to drink and in retaliation doused my hardwood floors with a sneaky stream of dirty water. But they lived.

Now to the moral dilemma. Another plant I cannot seem to kill is the poinsettia. I try not to buy them. But you may notice the one doing laps around the recesses of our townhouse. It is a tall straggly, three year old that was a gift from a friend. This year with guests arriving last minute, I bought three more to decorate just before Christmas, short ones, all white, and 75% off at Walmart. I mean how long could those last, right?

IMG_0122 forsythia and tree

Forsythia photo by Alison Colby-Campbell

Well, as the hyacinths and daffs poke their heads out of the ground, providing far more reliable weather forecasts than some slave groundhog, my poinsettias are going strong.  But I don’t like them as part of the spring decor anymore; yet it is too harsh to leave them outside, too harsh to kill what wants to live so I tuck them into corners where the neglect they receive seems to strengthen their resolve to live. So I live with them and bring the pots outside in spring and hide them among the edible herbs despite their over hyped reputation as a toxin.

Years as an animal advocate have made me believe that adoption is forever. I just wish there was a way to share custody. Perhaps with a big beautiful plant resort with others of its kind. Where proper care and devotion would keep the plant in some sort of cellulose spring/summer/fall camp to return in winter all glowing red from the wonderful experience.  But there is no place to put a minimally admired off season plant.

porch poinsettia

First year as a summer poinsettia. Brilliant. Photo by Alison Colby-Campbell

Maybe I should read up on how to care for them better…..Poinsettia Care for All Seasons

(c)Alison Colby-Campbell

4 responses to “Moving Away from a Disposable World? Do plants count?

  1. I really love this, and that the plants love surviving with you!

  2. Your kind heart does you proud! A very enjoyable read, Alison– hope all’s well with you, despite the relentless poinsettia assaults!! : )

    • Mark so nice to see you posting on here. I am well and hope the same of you. I am just getting around to checking out all the posts I’ve been ignoring with my too busy schedule. Can’t wait to see what you’re up to.

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