As you could see yesterday, nothing is blooming here. It’s a sad thing that I’m happy just to have bare brown ground with no snow, but there it is.
It occurred to me yesterday to tell the plant tales of three of my oldest houseplants. Too exciting, right?
This is a tree whose variety I can’t guess. It belonged to mom and was forever in her beautifully sunlight house with an impossibly tall ceiling at the center. There was a skylight way up in the ceiling that the plant strove to reach. One of mom’s cats was always trying to climb the tree, enraging mom.
When mom was gone and we were cleaning out her house, nobody spoke up for the tree because we all have homes with typically short ceilings. As we were working, someone noticed that the tree had disappeared into the back yard. It lay on the ground with all of its leaves torn off, and it was out of its pot, hacked to a mere two feet tall.
I never knew it, but one of my sisters was the original owner of the tree and it was given to her by an old flame she despised, after all this time, enough to try to murder the poor tree.
Horrified, I put the tree back in its pot and put it in my car. When I got it home, I left it outside and watered it, not sure if it would live. Within a few days, leaves sprouted along the hacked trunk and soon it was back, looking like a shorter version of its former self.
It goes outside with my other houseplants each summer and comes back in the fall. It can get tall in mid-winter, though it doesn’t get tall outside with all of that nice room to grow.
Bill the Fica
My brother in law had a nice fica tree which he put out on his deck next to his hot tub all summer. It was in a small back bedroom in the winter.
He grew concerned that it was truly unhappy all winter, and he asked if I’d take it. I suppose I had a large number of houseplants at the time and he thought it would have a good home.
It has done really well for us, and I know he liked that we called it Bill the Fica, after him. We lost Bill himself one terrible year, but his namesake always gets time out in the sunshine of our deck in the summer and because it grows tremendously and happily outside, it gets trimmed back quite a bit.
It can grow quite a bit even in winter, so the last couple of years I’ve brought it and Momsy downstairs where they get a southern sunny window but it is a little cooler than upstairs so they don’t grow quite as much over the winter.
The Sproingy Plant
This plant was given to me by a member of a garden club I belonged to early on. Its owner was very knowledgeable and generous with garden club members.
She had a truly lovely garden that put us all to shame.
This little succulent is a favorite toy of our cat since those leaves just go sproing when batted.
I’ve had this plant for about twenty years, I think. It reminds me of when gardening was all new to me and there was so much to learn.