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Glorious Succulents Galore

By LC Van Savage

       I just love houseplants. No weeding, no broiling sun while weeding, no being bitten by slithery and flying things while digging, no getting drenched while planting, no blisters while hoeing. All our houseplants do is sit in front of our windows asking for good light, a few cups of water and a few chews of a good fertilizer. And they always look great. My problem with them is that my thumb is occasionally gets too green---well maybe more chartreuse--- which means that my plants sometimes get so huge I have to give them away or we canít get into our rooms. Fortunately, I know a wonderful woman who adopts my overgrown house plants and takes them to her home. We part, my plants and I, no tears. I say thanks to them, wave and whisper goodbye and off they go to their new homes. We never look back.

       Furthermore, house plants are ever so much better than pets. Theyíre not nearly as needy. You can leave house plants for long periods of time if well-watered and fed, friends do not mind coming in to check on them because plants never lunge, bite, poop or run away, and they donít shed. Donít get me wrong; I love all animals world-wide, and give them more respect, love and caring than I probably do my fellow humans, well sometimes, because frankly the animals in my life deserve this. I do not kill. I really donít. OK letís clarify; if something is going to sting me, or crush parts of me between great toothed jaws that can shred concrete slabs, or if they intend to fill me with venom that will turn me into a hugely swollen, throbbing purple blob, or if they look longingly at me as if theyíd like to invite me to be supper---they get offed. Yes, by me. That is if I am able. Not so sure getting wrapped in the coils of a 30 ft Anaconda as it enthusiastically constricts my life force would be easily subdued, but Iíd give it a shot. So you see, I do kill when I absolutely must.

      So thatís why I love house plants. They just donít do bad things to people. Happily, Iíve recently discovered a sweet houseplant that doesnít normally get huge, so I can keep it forever. Itís cute, doesnít drip dead leaves all over my floor and many can even be planted outside although Iíve already explained my feelings about outdoor gardening.

      They are succulents. How come nobody ever told me about these little beauties? How come I didnít pay more attention to them as Iíve stumbled through my life? How is it I always manage to come so late to things? Everyone seems to know about succulents. I, at 80, have just started to notice them. They are weird, strange, fascinating and when I talk to them Iím pretty sure they answer. Have you ever seen them? I mean all of them? Impossible. There are thousands of varieties. Google ďphotos of all the worldís house plant succulentsĒ if you donít believe me. You will be blown away at the enormous variety, endless beauty and enchanting strangeness. I am hooked for life!

      One of my many bad habits is that I fall in love with some hobby or activity or whatever, and after two years, literally to the day, first my boredom veil floats down, followed by the slamming of a great door somewhere and I move on and never look back. Iím done. This will not happen with my newfound love; pretty succulents.

      Alas we donít live in a huge house with tons of floor to ceiling glass walls for hours of sunshine to spill in, but since I do want to collect these little gems possibly by the hundreds I may have to prevail upon Mongo to find the money for that kind of an addition to our home. And to take down a bunch of trees, too. Then I could cover those glass walls with shelves and fill them with those darling, weird succulents. I have about 10 now, just the standard kind found everywhere but idiotically, I canít stop staring at them. Those little plants are simply gorgeous, unreal, surreal. Am I getting wiggy in my dotage? You bet.

       Have you checked out that Google info? Do it. Itís as if Someone Out There who created plants way back in the Dawn of Evolution decided ďIf I can imagine it, I can design it.Ē And so, he/she let loose and did just that. These plants come in every possible shape and design. Weirdly wonderful. Yes, I gush.

      If anyone out there can send me any good info or names of books on succulents from around the world etc., Iíd be ever so grateful. I know one can buy the plants by mail but I just donít want those little pretties to be banged around in a dark box with no air or water, even for one overnight delivery. No. They are way too precious and weird, fun, unique, adorable and maybe even too fragile. And beautiful. Did I mention that?

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