I have a talent for rescuing near-dead foliage. A few weeks ago my father was outraged that someone, probably local kids, broke off three branches from the coleus outside his home. I took the little wilted branches home, put them in water and watched as they formed roots and leaves. Yesterday I presented them to him as a potted plant, turning anger to abundance. And this is the second time in as many years that I have given coleus to his garden.
The plants at work thrive in almost constant fluorescent light. I recently found a cutting dying in a wineglass. Here it is, living in a cheerful pot on a sunny windowsill. After a long day, it gives me a sense of peace to water the houseplants and marvel at their growth.
Both people and gardens can nurture.
It’s known that houseplants have mental and physical health benefits. It doesn’t hurt that they are pretty.
I took care of my siblings, all younger than me, from a young age. We briefly had a dog, a humble mutt with little intelligence but ferocious loyalty. I was a working mother who delighted in raising my child. I am a nurturer.
By the way, that nurturing stuff is a two-way street. It was my child who suggested the Shel Silverstein reference. I won’t be a tree stump but I am proud of the people I took care of. And, I am happy to create a form of beauty that actually grows. The close-up of the near-dead plant on top looks like this, already forming new leaves or spikes or whatever those bright green things are called. You don’t need a degree in botany to experience the benefits of growing stuff.