I have not had much success over the years, at growing plants that need a lot of attention. I could blame busy days filled with a full time job, meals to prepare and household chores for the neglected and withering foliage gasping for relief. Then there were a few that refused to thrive even when doted upon. I've no green thumb for the finicky and fragile.
My feline roommates are also a threat to indoor horticulture as they deem it their inalienable right to nibble flowers and prune leaves until the plant is gradually relieved of its growth and future potential. I eventually stopped buying new plants as it seemed I was unfit for the responsibility and my household too hazardous.
Not a complete failure, I have managed to sustain two plants that are are hardy and independent of regular human intervention. An aloe and a jade plant are my true survivors.
The jade is thick-stalked, sturdy and balanced. Its leaves are plump and dark green. Although a victim of frost two winters ago, the cut back damaged places have revived. The base of the jade is dense with new growth and short of being tossed into the burn pile nothing seems to diminish its penchant for life. It is one of my favorite plants for this reason. This spring it decided upon tiny flowers at the tips of several stalks.
The aloe plant is long limbed and lanky. I have actually used the gel of it's leaves for burns. Great stuff! And never really asking for much, left on its own in the dead of winter, it seems to draw in on itself just slightly. When the air surrounding it becomes chill and lifeless, the aloe pales softly and as most plants do in winter, ceases to grow.
Pulled indoors in winter, both plants cheer quietly and accept offerings of water and the artificial warmth of my entryway. Staring into the glow of the sidelight they sit waiting for some future rendezvous with the open sky. They seem happy enough as things unfold around them and the season peaks and wanes.
Both plants sit on the front doorstep. The sight of their pleasant vigilance often brings a smile to my spirit at the end of my work day. Returned to the outdoors when the sunshine of spring beckons, both plants urge little replicas of themselves to emerge. Given freedom once again they thrive unencumbered.
Plants and people. Growing with the elements that surround them. Damaged by extremes and prolific when well fed and nurtured.