Oh The Flowers That Bloom In The House, Tra La!
LC Van Savage
I have a nice big flower garden, lush and wildly colorful, but itís not outside. Itís in my home. We all know how bleak things can be come February and March in Maine. For me, itís usually those 2 months when I begin to ask myself, ďOh, what have we done?Ē The cold gritty-grey stuff appears to never go away. It does get awfully dreary just about now.
So one day recently I said to myself, ďSelf, brighten up that large dining room window, and put flowers in it.Ē I went to the Internet (how I love that invention. A huge library at the fingertips with no late fees, no hauling around heavy tomes, no tedious searching through huge, dusty volumes to find one tiny soupcon of information,) and I asked Ms. Google to give me the names of flowering indoor plants thatíll bloom all year, or at least most of it. And up came a bunch of names, many kind of Latinish, and I went out and got some. Plants. Not Latin.
Some of those flowering plants recommended by the Googles no oneís ever heard of around here, but I was able to find some on the list, and oh do they look wonderful. I too often stand staring at them at length in that big window, contrasted so strikingly against the snow and the bleak and drear. Jewels all. (Donít cringe. I wonít gush or do odes to the Joys of the Wax Begonia.)
I sure wish I had a passion for outdoor gardening. Mongo likes it, or used to, and I worried that when he married me heíd maybe expected weíd kneel together in summertime dirt all our lives pulling at weeds whose roots just hide in the outback until we return to the house, creep out and regrow on the exact same site. Heís never actually said that, but it had to have been a disappointment to him to have bravely faced plagues of mosquitoes, knots of snakes, armies of biting ants and spiders, bees-ready-to-sting, poison ivy, blistering sunburns, rocks and stumps, sandy soil, flowerbud-chomping deer and woodchucks, completely alone. Honestly I think weeds could grow to my chin, and Iíd never notice and would be grateful for the privacy they afforded so the neighbors wouldnít notice the strange goinís on at the VS household.
So many people do it, and love gardening. They find it so satisfying and soothing, therapeutic maybe. And gardens surely do improve the looks of any Old Homestead. But frankly, kneeling on the ground on stabbing rocks in the heat, swatting bugs and bees, pulling weeds and watering watering watering, fertilizing fertilizing fertilizing is not the way I like to spend summers, to say nothing of edging and whacking. Oh, and letís not forget nettles. The end result is beautiful, but the work never ends, and then the whole thing just dies anyway in the fall. Frankly I think the advance of cold weather is a secret relief to gardeners.
Besides, I donít know much about garden flowers. Were I to plant them, the colors would clash, Iíd plant the tall ones in front by accident, and just to be obstinate, Iíd refuse to dead-head. I had to dead-head Mountain Laurel blooms every summer Saturday when I was growing up, and I took a vow back then, my hands covered with that awful sticky ooze coming from the dead and dying Mountain Laurel blossoms, that Iíd never ever dead-head when I was grown. A vow kept. Nope, give me a nice garden variety indoor garden. Lovely. Not a weed in sight. OK, I canít make bouquets to bring into peopleís homes, but I donít care about that.
Hey, if anyone out there knows of any great year-round bloomers, can you send me their names? In English? Thanks. I have an amazingly green thumb indoors but it turns black when I go outdoors.
Hear LC on ďSenior Moment,Ē
on WBOR, 91.1 FM Weds. At 1-1:30 PM with partner Dave Wilkinson,
or on http://www.studorgs.bowdoin.edu/wbor/index.html.