storied plants

4/16/22 update: I intended to write about my “so what” re: roses but the preamble took over. Still working on it.

plant with glossy dark green leaves (peace lily) in a corner. Background color is reddish-orange

I cherish the plants with stories, such as the dozens of peace lilies propagated from a display at my father in law’s funeral, 15 years ago. It’s a forgiving plant, and I took it for granted. The leaves would droop, I’d eventually notice, do some watering, and they’d be jaunty again in no time. But after a particularly long spell of neglect, they were spent.

In panic, I grabbed a dishpan and eased the plant from the pot. Let the soil fall from the massive root ball. Pried it apart (long overdue) and picked about ten small sections that seemed most likely to survive. Scrambled to find enough containers, potted them up, and watched over them carefully. When we left town for a few weeks, I asked our pet sitter to water and send photo updates.

Michael had not been aware that the unassuming plant in the corner of our teevee room was connected to his dad. I waited until after the danger of losing it had passed to tell him. Six years later, we have peace lilies scattered around the house and have given many away. It’s a common workhorse plant, but that doesn’t make it any less special.

I am just as sentimental about our snake plant (gift from Karen when our child was born), apple tree (planted the year after we married), and the pink peonies and red rose that have been here longer than we have.

Drat. I know what else I want to say, but it’s just not happening right now.

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