Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Plant life!

Today I threw out my avocado pear plant. In fact my two avocado pear plants since there were two in the same pot, although we have always had a tendency to refer to it in the singular. It used to be a fine thing with lots of luxurious foliage, a splendid specimen. Then our daughter borrowed it, and a number of other plants, a few years ago to use as a visual aid in the science lesson in her final teaching practice.

She assigned some pupils to water it but they did a poor job. Maybe it just needed a lot more tender loving care than junior school children could provide. They were perhaps not made aware that when the leaves start to droop, such a plant needs a lot more water. The leaves are a bit like arms: drooping by the side they indicate extreme thirst but raised up and sticking out they indicate happiness. Anyway, the poor thing came home in a sorry state and gradually leaves fell off. It made a reasonable recovery but it was a shadow of its former self.

Every time we go away, our daughter pops in fairly regualrly to take care of the plants. As a rule it works well. This summer the heat was just too much for the poor avocado plant. It still has a leaf or two at the top of its two straggly stems but it has lost all its grace. So I am afraid it has been relegated to the garden to take its chances with the weather. Its central place on the kitchen window ledge has been taken by the aloe vera plant which apparently loved the summer and thrived beautifully.

Two avocado stones have been placed in pots if damp compost to see if they will decide to germinate. I am aware that some people recommend suspending the stones, balanced on pins, over a jar of water until they start to sprout roots but that has never worked for me and so I have gone back to my tried and tested stone in compost, with its pointy end uppermost half out of the compost. My green-fingered eldest granddaughter has also tried both methods and found that mine worked best. There you go! Of course there is no knowing how well modern avocado stones, from fruit no doubt grown in huge greenhouses as there is such a demand for them, will fare. We shall see!

Another plant that failed to survive the summer sun through the kitchen window was my mind-your-own-business. For years I told the tale of my grandmother having a plant that looked like cushion of tiny green leaves. Whenever I asked whatbit was, she told me, “Mind your own business!” WHich i considered rather rude from my usually polite grandmother. But it turned put to be its name. No doubt it had a Latin name as well but we were  it bothered about such niceties.

My granddaughter thought I was making it all up until she found one in a garden centre earlier this year and purchased one for me. It was doing beautifully when we went away to Galicia for the summer, just as extreme summer hit the UK. My green-fingered granddaughter and I discussed getting her to care for it in my absence, given her mother’s record for blatantly failing to look after the avocado. In the event time ran away with us and the plant stayed at my house. When I returned briefly in July my daughter apologised for its rather bedraggled state. It was clearly on its way out and had given up the ghost before I set off once more for Spain. A sad story!

But my kitchen window ledge looks much better now than yesterday.

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