Saturday, October 13, 2007

Decorating With Found Objects - Part 4

My father called every plant he ever came across an aspidistra.




My mother had a green thumb. She could take the saddest, droopiest plant and love it back to life in no time. As people heard of her reputation, they would bring her their despondent houseplants, often no more than a dried-up twig, and she would care for them and send them back home lush and vibrant and green. There were even some repeat offenders.

When my parents put a bay window in their dining room, we took to calling it The Plant Hospital - there were always at least a few patients in there, recuperating.

One of her last projects was to plant up a pot of paperwhites. They bloomed in record time, as if they knew they needed to hurry. I was able to show them to her in all their glory not long before she closed her eyes for the last time.

She Was Happiest In Her Garden

I take after my Dad. It is with something of a sinking feeling that I receive gifts of plant life. I know what's going to happen.

They start out so green and pretty. But then there's that slight shift in the spectrum, from Vibrant Green to... No, It's Still Green. Then the leaves start to fall off. Then we go from Not So Vibrant Green to Just Plain Sad. Before we get to Disgusting, my husband stages an intervention and carries the poor thing off to the compost bin.

This leaves us with the basket the plant came in. I've seen enough of them at my local Goodwill to be fairly certain that they don't get really excited about seeing more of them arrive on their doorstep.

So I try to find uses. This one works quite nicely holding my clothespins. The handle is very practical - I can grab it with a free finger while carrying a full laundry basket to the door.

And fortunately, as my friends get to know me better, they realize that, as a gift, I'm much happier with a bottle of wine!


design for mankind. said...

Ahhh, amen to the wine! I loved reading this post; so sentimental, yet totally relatable.

Thanks, Barb!

Ursula said...

What a nice post! I can just picture your father saying "aspindistra!", kind of the same way my husband calls all small animals (and sometimes children!) "Pups". And I agree; always wine!

Barb McMahon said...

Thanks you two!