New Starts

While most gardeners are taking pictures of their new baby plants in close up range across their starter flats, I’m just dabbling with house plant cuttings.

This particular bunch of cuttings was snipped from my friend Susan’s massive plant hanging in a corner of her living room. I wanted these cuttings for two or three reasons.

Firstly, having greenery in our house is important to me. It’s a lovely tradition kept by most of our mothers and grandmothers for time untold. My mother-in-law had a green thumb. She could make African violets do their thing in perfectly mounded, fuzzy glory that burst into bloom in colors of royalty, to boot. She was The African Violet Whisperer. Oh course, she always fussed that someone else could do it better, but I wasn’t fooled by that for a minute. If I took one home from her tabletop because she had pressed it into my hands, (She saw me ogling them… felt sorry for me, I’m sure), it would die. Anyway, if I got it safely home and placed it tenderly in the exact lighting, as per instructed, it made no difference how carefully… it died. Quickly and completely. So I had to stick to plants I couldn’t kill. The importance of having tough greenery in my home decor is a thing. I have to carry on the tradition.

Besides, I love greenery on the sill, especially when there’s snow covering the lawns and gardens. I think we have this place in our brains that needs to see green and growing. It’s where hope lives.

Another reason that I need these cuttings is that Susan’s plant is from cuttings from my big plant hanging in the corner of my living room some fifteen years ago. And that plant came from cuttings of one of my own mom’s plants which she got cuttings from someone else… ad infinitum. Mom had an amazing collection of greenery back in the old farmhouse when I was growing up. She didn’t just fill the windowsill or a corner. One whole end of our large dining room was a lovely conservatory.

Ok, let me pontificate for just a moment. We call these cuttings from old plants, new starts. Once there are those little fingers of roots happening, we plant them into fresh soil in pretty pots. We will even place them in macrame hangers, which are again in style. (I’m delighted about that.) We nurse these “new starts” with proud smiles and just the right care. I don’t know when we shift our thinking from new start to beautiful house plant to “that thing needs to be repotted.” That’s how it goes. It takes time and upkeep.

That’s how all new starts go. The old needs to be repotted. Oh, but that’s hard. It’s hard to admit that the old is needing a cutting and repotting. Old paint, broken tools, or tired people. Nothing stays the same forever. We need to enjoy the process of change and renewal. It’s gonna be okay, folks.

Actually, if you didn’t know it already, it’s going to be beautiful and fruitful again. Go ahead, cry a little about the comfortable, cozy, broken planter. This isn’t the end. Look up, reach out, stretch for the good and green and growing again. We’re gonna be okay.

We are going to be beautiful again.

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