Tending the Demon Garden

As a recognized serial plant murderer, i’m really not sure why i became determined to re-bloom the lovely poinsettia that survived Christmas 2009.  It was still green and pretty well into the summer of 2010.  Perhaps it was because i’ve been bored.  Maybe because it was a really pretty plant.  Or maybe because i’ve recently waged intra-cranial war with my inability to commit to much of anything these days…
Somewhere in late summer the thought nugget took hold.  i looked up ‘Re-blooming Your Poinsettia” on the internet when i probably should have been working.  i kept doing more research.  Within the realm of the plausible, no doubt.  Rather than be discouraged by a commitment to a living object, i tackled this with more enthusiasm than anyone who knows me* could have imagined.
What does it take?  Keeping your plant in complete darkness for 14 hours every day for about ten weeks.  Knowing that if i put it downstairs in the storage room, i’d forget about it and kill it in short order.  Coming up with a way to do it that fit my personal schedule was the challenge. 
With a little testing**, i determined that my walk in closet was suitable for the 14 hours of darkness.  Selecting a schedule that worked with my daily routine, i vowed to put the plant into darkness every day at 5:00 pm, to be retrieved at 7:00 am.
Seemed pretty brilliant.  Until i found myself effectively locked out of my own closet every evening.  Planning ahead for all of my clothing needs, i adapted to the new paradigm, keeping my jammies on a hook in the bathroom, and making sure i had a few odds and ends of clothing scattered around the bedroom just in case.   i even had to make sure that my laundry was put away by 5:00 pm on Sunday evening!

The poinsettia showed promise, shedding all of the old leaves while growing perky new foliage.  Hey, this isn’t so hard!  Hope!
Then there were the road trips.  With The Girl still living downstairs, i left her detailed instructions and sent appropriately timed text messages to assure that the plant was delivered and retrieved from darkness at the appointed hours.  She accused me of caring more about the plant than about her or the dog.
Ahhh… THAT’S commitment, right?

When the fucking plant failed to cooperate, i became even more zealous.  Looking closely every morning for any sign of flower buds, double checking the degree of darkness in the closet – perhaps light was sneaking in somewhere?  Even if the plant didn’t bloom in time for the holiday, by god, the thing was going to bloom again!  i had given up my closet for weeks!  Bloom, motherfucker!  BLOOM!
It’s not that i have a problem with commitment, god damn it – i have a problem with men.  This was a vital experiment, and a soul-testing measure of who i am as a person!  No turning back!  This was a necessary step in taking on my demons…
So when i was at the store a couple of weeks ago, i saw a gorgeous white poinsettia – one of the cheesy ones that had been decorated with some glitter on the leaves, and a nice shiny green foil wrapper covering the cheap plastic pot.  Ooooh!  Sparkles! 

$12.99 later?  i had a lovely poinsettia on my coffee table.  Got my fucking closet back, too…
* i kill plants.  Not on purpose, but if you hang around me long enough, it starts to seem that way….
** standing in the closet with the light off and the door shut in a variety of external lighting conditions convinced me that it would work as a darkroom.  Coincidently, i also learned why the cat goes pretty batshit when he accidentally gets trapped in the same closet…

38 thoughts on “Tending the Demon Garden

  1. You know, the great thing about the traditional Christmas plants is that they are all available as fakes too. Things last forever. Never die. Don’t need watering.

  2. You should explain to the girl that she’s an adult now and that yes you do care about the plant more, the dog, he’ll understand… and my favorite sentence “i don’t have a problme with commitment… i have a problem with men.” You are a gem my dear. Now commit yourself to the 24 days of Asshat Lounge Music Snobbery.

  3. When my husband and I first met, there was a denuded stalk in a pot of planting soil on my dresser that he took to calling “The Tomb of the Unknown Plant.” In its former life I think it was a Coleus, but I can’t say for sure. Needless to say, he’s the green thumb in the family.

    • i had a dead grapefruit tree in the dining room of my old house. it was a 4′ stick, with giant thorns. couldn’t get rid of it because at one point i’d taken the trouble to hang white twinkie lights on it. so i kept the stick for about four years… finally tossed the whole thing when i moved…

  4. I used to go to a beauty salon where I exchanged massage with a gal who was renting the back room. There was a peace lily in the corner of the main hair cutting area of the salon that always threw itself at my feet wailing, “Water! For the love of God, WATER!” every time I came in on Saturday morning.

    You are not alone. There is a whole cult of serial plant murderers out there.

  5. i’m sure the cat had something to do with it. they secretly torture plants just to hear them scream.

    and just because you’re a loser and had to buy a new one, don’t feel bad. you’re in good company [slowly raises own hand].

  6. This post inspired me to go out and stimulate the economy. I am now the proud Mama of something like a dozen or so poinsettias of different colors and sizes. There is something about them that makes for “Instant” festiveness. Got my tree yesterday too, and will be taking advantage of the days horrible weather to do some decorating.

    • They really are beautiful, and are absolute instant festiveness! i may get a few more…. and keep that “compost” thing in mind if i get too excited about re-blooming them…

  7. You could have raised some beefy cannabis by now, with all that closet attention to the Poinsettia. But I’m all about the quick fix, so I’d have bought a new one too. Plus, I mean, it has glitter!

  8. Can we talk about the lovely juxtapostion of the Honda crotch-rocket book alongside the 50’s-beskirted yarn maven in that photo? With Sh*t My Dad Says in the background for good measure? Good Times. I need reblooming, myself.

  9. just so you know, sugar. this post inspired me to clear all the dead plants off the deck. you might have heard, we had a serious hard freeze down here recently and the plants didn’t have the sense to come in out of the cold! ;~D xoxoxox

    • i already have a cat. he’s cool, and together with the dog, my daughter and her boyfriend, we’ve got a houseful. but there’s still something not quite right with me. maybe a fish?

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