Thursday, February 21, 2008

on the inside

I am not a houseplant enthusiast or collector, but I enjoyed reading a feature about them in today’s New York Times Home and Garden section. It made me think about the jade plant we received as a gift, about six years ago, when we lived in Nashville.

When we were given the succulent, the rooting and pot were no larger than a travel-size coffee mug. Last spring, when I removed it from its winter perch in a sunny downtown storefront window (where it had been on loan), the plant was too big to fit in the floorboard of my station wagon. The bushy friend and its clay tub had to ride in the cargo hold. A few weeks ago, I noticed the jade had sprouted one small cluster of white flowers. This was the first time it had ever bloomed. I was surprised to see this, given the borderline neglect it has endured on our chilly sun porch since October. It might have been a plea for help or for a return to downtown.

Maybe we will buy our favorite houseplant a pretty glazed pot this May before it begins a long summer vacation on the front stoop.

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