R.I.P Ancient One – and Cress!

dragon-plant.jpg  My sister-in-law gave me a plant for Christmas fourteen years ago – a Dracaena Marginata (Dragon Tree to the less planty).  I have tended to it and nurtured it for all of those years and it’s thrived and thrived.  I’ve lovingly watered it, sprayed it and fed it with my used tea leaves or rice water.  And every so often I would spend hours wiping each and every leaf with a damp rag to clean off the dust.  And in return, it has faithfully brought life to every corner of my house in turn, with all it’s fine greenery, humbly tolerating all my whimsical room changes, withstanding heated radiators or drafty windows and never complaining when random missiles in the form of kids toys flew at it from every angle.

Inevitably, for the past few years it’s been aging – becoming spindly and bare.  I’ve even written it off as dead more than twice but each time it has miraculously self-revived – less leafy but healthy just the same.  Well, for the past few months it has been put in a rest-room, placed well out of the way of footballs and flying dinosaurs because it’s been just too frail, with only one green shoot remaining.  And I’ve really cared for my Ancient One and its last green shoot.  I’ve carried on tending to it, not willing to give up until that last bit of green has shrivelled up and dropped off.

Today, that moment came.  I can tell you, unashamedly, that I’m feeling really quite bereft.  And slightly guilty.  Did my recent introduction of a younger and healthier version cause Ancient One to sigh and finally give up?  I’ll never know but Ancient One might be smugly pleased to know that the kids have already managed to put their kiss of death onto this new one.  I found a full shoot lying lifeless on the floor by the pot tonight.  (Mr Nobody is so clumsy).  I’ve tried squashing it into the soil but I don’t think it is going to pick up.

Anyhoo…spare a thought for my Ancient One tonight as he decomposes and re-enters that great circle of life via my compost heap.

watercress1.jpgAs for the seeds that my children sowed last month, well they’ve produced nothing more than a mass of cress!

We planted pansy seeds, poppy and cornflower seeds.  We also planted some herb seeds which are doing quite nicely thank you very much.  But the other stuff – it’s just nothing but cress.  And not even lush cress like the bunch you see in the photograph there.  No.  It’s long and spindly and growing erratically.  I know things-that-grow can sometimes start off looking like cress but this really is not going to morph into something useful – trust me.  Of course it’s not really cress but it might as well be.  It certainly looks just like cress, in a sad, identity crisis kind of way.

Don’t know what we did wrong?  I’ve grown stuff before.  Never used those lazy, all-in-one Sowing For Dummies kits before though so maybe we’ve been shafted.  From now on, no easy way out for my kids.  They do it all from scratch.


4 responses to this post.

  1. You’re right, kids must learn to care and look after plants, as they do with pets, because plants are also pets and give us company, a luxuriant company indeed.


  2. Absolutely Jose.

    It’s a great way of teaching our children the value of care and responsibility…and committment.


  3. The one thing I found hard about planting when I was younger is the lack of any growth for weeks. I lost patience and I wanted results quickly. Now I understand that I have to wait but then I’m usually disapointed any way because our plants seem to grow and die rather quickly. Fingers crossed that this lot survive.


  4. Imagine, thepocket, how growers will feel when they plant and for one reason or the other that plant does not receive water, or pests get to them.

    The world owes lots to growers, but they, alas!, are always the losers. The intermediaries take the slice of the lion.


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