Sunday, May 30, 2010


This "bush" makes me smile. I notice it every time I pull into the driveway. At one time, it was a hydrangea.


Here's what it's supposed to look like:


After I gave birth to my youngest last April, my Mom gave me a potted white hydrangea as a gift. It was lovely. However, my cat tends to chew on all greenery in our house, so it wasn't lasting long inside. I decided in a pre-dawn, sleep-deprived, postpartum delirium one morning that I was going to plant it outside. I decided to sneak out while the rest of the house slept and uproot one of the two geraniums that was front and center, just outside the living room windows.


Geraniums. Yleck! Now there's a subject that my husband and I are in 100% agreement on. The smell makes us both nauseated. So, I donned my leather gloves, opened the door to the garage as quietly as possible so as not to wake anyone, and rooted around for the shovel. I hoped that it was early enough that the neighbors would not be witness to my geranium genocide. For some reason, I felt guilty uprooting a perfectly healthy flowering plant. I performed the transplant as hastily as possible, dropping blood red petals as I went.

Out came the red flowers, and in went the new into the same hole.

It was quick.

It was convenient.

It didn't work.

Within a week, the leaves began to deteriorate as the indoor plant failed to adapt to the outdoors. After a month or two, it looked like this:


By fall, it was nothing but five lonely dead twigs sticking out of the ground. The healthy crimson geranium next to it, the one I hadn't uprooted, mocked me. Months passed, and the back yard in our new house met a similar black thumb fate when I took it from the weed pile we found when we moved in,


down to dirt,


and meticulously planted and watered grass seed. It didn't work, either, unless you count the crab grass that tried to invade.

I gave up on both projects and turned my attention to decorating over the winter months. It was a long, wet winter. We're still having winter weather here and there. I love it. I've only turned on the air conditioning a couple of times.

While I was hibernating, guess who showed up to the party?

Grass!! It finally came in, a full six months after I planted it.


And my hydrangea!! At about the same time as the grass came in, little green leaves started sprouting at the very base of the twigs. It's been getting bushier and stronger ever since. It makes me smile to see it sprouting, in spite of being dead for so long.

Miracle Max: See, there's a big difference between mostly dead, and all dead. Now, mostly dead: he's slightly alive. All dead: well, with all dead, there's usually only one thing that you can do.

Inigo: What's that?

Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.


Poor stinky geranium, now that I know the hydrangea is alive and well...


Grace said...

I love hydrangeas, I have quite a few planted throughout my yard. If you plant a penny in the soil the flowers will change colour. Is your plant an annabel snowball hydrangea, if it is I hope you left room for it to grow, mine has gone haywire and it is a huge bush, I've had to put stakes to hold up the flowers, they are so beautiful.

Fire Wife Katie said...

Cool, I didn't know that about the penny, I'll have to try that!! Yes -- it has a large spot to fill. There's several random plants around it that I'm hoping I'll be able to pull out as it becomes bigger.

Off to plant a penny.... :D

Ratz said...

Now well, that is some story..... all these things do give us a smile....

Cristina said...

Never give up! Especially with gardening! And I completely agree with you and your husband about geraniums.

Kathryn said...

this made me laugh because the only thing that was actually ALIVE in our backyard when we moved in was a small geranium by the fence. Now it's huge with red flowers. I agree that the smell is not great, but I have to give it props for surviving months of neglect by the previous owners!

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