Friday 12 August 2011

In which someone entrusts me with a living thing...

The title is a bit disingenuous, because obviously I can be trusted with a living thing. I am an approved foster carer. I have a one year old chocolate Labrador who is happy and healthy. My parents are going away this weekend and are leaving not one but six children in my care ranging from eighteen months to fourteen years old. So obviously, I can be trusted with multiple species of from the animal kingdom.

Plants though...plants are a very different story.

My husband gave me a rose plant when we first started going out. She is no more. I have had half a dozen plants given to me by well-meaning family members over the years and none of them have survived. My mother in law gave me a tub of geraniums, which I put outside and entrusted to mother nature. These alone have survived, without any input from me.

It's not that I don't like plants. I love them. I love the idea of looking after them. I always start off watering them regularly, giving them plant food, doing everything that is required to care for them properly. And then...I sort of forget.

I'm absent minded, and not the most organised of people. If I forget to feed my dog, she lies beside her bowl to remind me. She's clever, so sometimes she 'reminds' me after my husband has already fed her so she gets two dinners. We have to watch her, she's half dog half Wile E. Coyote. But plants don't remind me to do anything. So they eventually die, and I feel terrible because these are living things and I am a terrible person to let this happen.

I looked after a little girl on respite last week, while her regular foster mother was on holiday. Said foster mother bought me a bonsai tree to say thank you, which was a lovely thought. But knowing my track record, I kind of wish it was plastic. How do you look after a bonsai tree? Is it difficult? Maybe I should look for a good adoptive home for it.

Hope you all have a great weekend!


  1. U too! And good luck with everything!

  2. My mom had a bonsai tree for a while and she doesn't have the best green thumb either. They are actually quite easy to take care of since they are little trees and don't need as much sunlight or water as a baby plant. Good luck!

  3. I found a great website for looking after bonsai trees... I'll dig it out from my history and send it to you. Just Don't Over Water It!!!

    Best plant for you would be a moth orchid. They only need watering once a month (cold running water for 30 seconds), they hate to be moved around, but have fab flowers...

  4. I hope the tree survives. :) Bummer about killing plants, though. My hubby kills them on a regular basis and refuses to allow me to care for them. Sigh.

  5. @Kelley: Thanks! You too.

    @Krista: Thanks, that gives me optimism!

    @Laura: Thanks for the advice, I love orchids.

    @Alleged: I know, and I feel so bad! Husband is just as bad as me in that regard, so I can't even hand over responsibility. Sigh!

  6. I can relate to this! I have recently allowed myself a new indoor plant. I was told it needs to be "basically ignored," which is the only reason I got it. I have enough trouble with my garden outside, which I inherited and deeply (and stupidly) resent. But I'm giving my "hens and chicks" plant a try. i've been basically ignoring it for a couple of weeks now, and it's still with me.