Another deviation from my White Wolf Moon promotion (buy my book)….
One of those little maintenance chores that falls within the realm of responsibility for the retired guy who’s working on a sequel is watering the plants. I tend to do this when the talk show about girls who leave their boyfriends for the husband of their girlfriend’s recently divorced mother’s best friend comes on. I have trouble believing that they could find four couples who have this situation in common.
Watering plants requires some forethought as well as polite conversation. You have to know which need a soak and which need a squirt because if you soak the ones that need a squirt they’ll dump potting mud all over the carpet. This is why you never vacuum before watering.
Talking fondly to most plants helps them to grow big and be happy. Of course they don’t actually understand you…they just respond to the tone in your voice. You can call them any nasty name you like as long as you smile when you say it.
They also like music.
Other than the Norfolk Pine, who’s a big Willie Nelson fan, most of our plants seem to prefer that good old rock ‘n roll. They don’t much like rap except for the Philodendron but he’s a little weird to begin with. He’s supposed to be a split-leaf but he suffers from indecisiveness. If there’s such a thing as latent schizophrenic tendencies in the plant kingdom, he’s got ’em.
Some plants require stress in order to bloom, like our Lipstick plant. I tell the Umbrella plant that floor plants are the superior flora and that those hanging things are a waste of good chlorophyll, making sure that the Lipstick is in earshot. When I’m watering the plants I pretend to forget about the Lipstick and late at night I creep up underneath it, yank on the macramé hanger and yell “Ding Dong!” It works. Our Lipstick plant is usually covered with blooms. Of course every time the doorbell rings it loses a few…
Our plants get cleaned with a chunk of sheep’s wool. The lanolin in the wool removes dust and brings out a lustrous sheen. I’m not sure how it does this. I don’t ever recall seeing a shiny sheep and, in fact, most of ’em were pretty dusty.
A final shot with the mister and, except for scaring the Lipstick, my gardening’s done.
Coffee ‘n cookie time. Thankfully the talk show is over but now it’s a soap. As I reach for the remote Doctor Max looks up from his desk to find Nurse Patti. She’s been standing there almost out of uniform for the last three days and the poor little thing is getting goosebumps.
She’s not the only one.