The Stress of Plants

The Stress of Plants

“I brought you some plants.”

“Oh bloody hell!”

Feck, did I say that out loud? I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but really? More bloody plants.

Neighbours were wonderful and very generous when they heard of my Dad’s passing. Instead of sending flowers to Ireland they brought me plants for my garden in Italy.  Buckets of them.

These I will plant randomly, as I will forget what they told me they were and what size they will grow to. I did the same with the cuttings and plants they gave me for my birthday, and the 28 faded packets of seeds I’ve collected from shopping expeditions, with great unfulfilled intentions, at the beginning of each spring for the last five years.

I’ll battle the weeds and brambles and clear an area. Dig the holes required, battle the roots of old trees that no longer stand. Fill in the snake holes and avoid the scorpions. After fertilising the area with expensive organic stuff, I’ll carefully tip the plant from its pot and bed in the soil around it.

My nearly grown back nails will break again and no amount of soaking or scraping will remove the ingrained dirt.

For at least a month, my daily workout will include carrying two full watering cans per plant down the garden.

It will rain, then sunshine. Then rain again. Alongside the plants, the weeds will take advantage of all my hard work.

Then, one fine morning, my husband Ronan, will go out with his strimmer and strim the weeds, and all the plants I have carefully planted down to the roots because, “they all look the same” to him.

Bless his wee heart.

I’ll then spend a week, and a small fortune, tracking down and replacing the same plants so that the neighbours won’t be upset. And the process of digging and planting will start over again.

And I can only hope some might survive the next round of impromptu strimming.