What if you can't keep your honorary plant alive?!?!
As you've probably gathered by now, I've found myself in a bit of a predicament the past few months regarding a gardenia bush in my patio garden. Gardenias are one of my absolute favorite flowers, and I thought it'd be a beautiful choice to honor T's grandmother Barbara, who passed away a few months ago. It's a dwarf gardenia, actually - remember I'm doing container gardening out there, so it fits the setting. Here's the gardenia in the early days of the garden, in the lower right:
This plant was... troubled, from the start, really. The wind kept mangling it, and it didn't seem to get enough water no matter how often I watered it. For weeks, I was calling my mom in a panic about Barbara's gardenia dying.
And in a way, it's funny, right? A plant has a simple job, and you've given that simple job a lot of importance, so why the hell can't it buck up and do what it's supposed to do since it is living for someone else and all? But nooooo, the plant wants to make life difficult, and by taking its time to consider whether or not it will save your ass when you've already gone ahead and told everyone that it's Barbara's gardenia, it is pissing you the hell off. Which probably isn't the best way to nurture a plant to blossom, but whatever.
So when the Plant Whisperer arrived a couple of weeks ago, her priority was to mix some color into my herb and veggie bonanza, but my priority was for her to give the gardenia a thorough checkup. By that time, it had grown (although it's still comically misshapen) and had hard buds, but no blossoms. Of course, my mom and I both knew that her own huge gardenia bushes had been filling the air with their gorgeous scent for weeks now. My mom pronounced the plant in fair condition, and decided it might just need more room, so we switched it out for a bigger pot. Nothing really seemed different, though - the plant had done nothing for months, and my hopes were pretty dim.
Imagine me pre-coffee and pre-meds this morning (which means bleary-eyed, coughing, and sniffling), holding the watering can out on my patio and spilling some of the water while I sneezed. Post-sneeze, I open my eyes, dodge a cat jumping at a butterfly, and wonder if I am hallucinating. Because.... those aren't.... BLOSSOMS?!
Barbara's gardenia is alive and blooming?!
So I'm thrilled over here, even more so because the plant is now covered in soft buds ready to open. And whew, I'm no longer accidentally cursing out of negligence a wonderful woman I wish I'd had more time with, nor am I a cursed granddaughter-in-law because of it. My relief is palpable. No more guilt, no more furious dwarf gardenia googling, no more desperate calls to the Plant Whisperer.
And one day soon, when my head isn't full of slime, I might even be able to smell these wondrous flowers!
Live on, Bar. And to the rest of you, please don't do this to yourself.