Not to0 long ago, my sis-in-law and friend was gazing out to my patio through the sliding glass door. She cocked her head and exhaled, “Huh, I never noticed that all your plants were the same.” I giggled sheepishly because they were indeed all the same. I blurted out, they’re the only plants I can’t kill!” She laughed with understanding. She said they looked nice. I wasn’t sure if I should believe her.
Many years ago, someone, I can’t remember who because it was so long ago, commented that she (I’m pretty sure it was a she) hated this plant we saw in someone’s garden. It’s a succulent that has these big, shiny, tear drop shaped leaves. She said she hated them because they were the weeds of the succulents world. I didn’t say anything because I had some of those in my own garden. I was embarrassed to admit that I actually liked them. I didn’t know they were equivalent to weeds!
I have a black thumb when it comes to plants. I can pretty much kill anything except weeds. That hasn’t stopped me from trying to have a pretty garden , albeit with various degrees of success. I finally had to come to the conclusion that gardening just isn’t my thang. I know I can learn if I really wanted to but I just had to admit that I obviously didn’t want to.
My mom had once attempted to beautify my back yard with these lovely little flowers she bought for me. I looked at all those trays of flowers and thought, “Oh no! death!” I politely told her that maybe planting those at my house wouldn’t be a good idea since I couldn’t be trusted with their care. She completely disregarded me and said all I had to do was water them. I thought but didn’t say, “If you say so….” My mom happily started digging and planting and sending me off to do various tasks, one of which was to water all those trays of flowers. I quickly did her bidding and asked what else I could do. When she was ready to start planting, she lifted one of the potted plants and said, “Didn’t I ask you to water these? They are still dry inside.” I replied that yes, I watered them. She saw me do it. She shook her head and said in Spanish, “These poor little plants. They were so excited to come to your home to be planted and now they’re thinking, why did you bring us here to die.” I just crookedly smiled and shrugged and she laughed. She said, “No wonder your plants die if you water them like that.” She kept planting them and told me to water them properly from now on. I’m sure nobody is surprised that they didn’t make it. Since then, I’ve tried different things, all mostly failures, until…
I decided I wasn’t going to be embarrassed for liking the weeds of the succulent world! How silly of me to let one person’s opinion color how I felt about certain plants. I chose to embrace that plant and used it all around my house! I couldn’t kill it no matter how much I neglected it. In fact, I could just cut off a stem, a leaf, or any part of it, stick it in some dirt, and voila! It grew. I loved it. It didn’t care if it only got watered when it rained. I even started wondering if I could do topiary with it. If I messed up, no harm no foul. I felt loved back by this plant because it refused to give up and die no matter what I did to it. Today, I saw a bunch of broken stems and leaves on the ground outside because we had some strong winds. I grabbed them, found a cute pot that’s been rolling around outside and put some dirt in it, some pretty rocks and those broken bits plus I cut some more and shoved them right in. I put it on my kitchen counter by a large window.
The plant that will not die!