gardening

Some Haikus Written By All the Plants I’ve Killed

I have a terrible track record when it comes to plants—especially house plants.

I don’t know if it is where I put them (probably not), the hot environment I live in (eh), how I water them (maybe), or if it’s just me (definitely), but I just kill them left and right. Even the “low maintenance”, “hearty”, “unkillable” plants. Once I get my hands on them, they die. It might not be immediate, but it also isn’t a long, drawn out process. I will consistently have a strong first week—or longer—in which I have time to get cocky and brag about my incredible plant child and how I am keeping it alive with my bare hands (and water), and then everything goes downhill very fast.

Eventually I’m knee deep in Google articles all telling me the yellowing of my leaves is caused by something different, and then I start putting my plant in different corners of the room, watering it more, watering it less, whispering sweet nothings to it, apologizing to it, giving up on it, finding a second wind and dedicating my entire life to it, deciding I need to approach it from different angles, occasionally lifting it up so the pot it’s in can “stretch its legs”, panicking as all the leaves start to wither, smothering it with even more water, sunlight and attention until ultimately, it meets the fate of all of its brothers and sisters that came before.

So, to remember and honor those that have been murdered by me fallen, I decided to give them a voice. To allow them to express themselves and their woes about having me as a plant mom. I am also hoping this might impress my current houseplant (who I’ve named Esther) and encourage her to stay alive.

Please, E, I’m trying my best.

.

I am new, alive

Ready to grow, blossom, bloom

Wow, you killed me quick

.

I need more sunlight

My leaves, my soil, they are parched

Scorched, drowned, I am dead

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Your words, they are kind

Your efforts, they are noble

But you suck at this

.

Some have thumbs dipped green

Some have hands purposed for soil

You have neither, dear

.

I have slipped your mind

Unwatered for days and days

I die, you TikTok

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Water, a life force

Water, a true source of hope

Waterboarded: me

.

Maybe leave me be

Give me time and space to grow

Helicopter mom

.

Fate has many paths

With you, it seems mine is set

Do plants go to heaven?

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Leaves, water, pots, dirt

Sunlight, temperature, food

What? I am a plant.

Pulling Up Weeds

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been doing a lot of remodeling projects at my work—patching, sanding, painting, repainting—and today we started our biggest project yet: repainting the exterior of the building. It’s sure to be quite a task, in fact, with the influx of hell fire heat (it was 105° today!) we might be lucky to come out of it alive. If you don’t hear from me for a few weeks, just assume I’ve melted into a puddle on the asphalt and I’m in a much better (colder) place now.

After we set up our makeshift shade canopies (you know, to slow the melting process) I started to collect all of the materials we would need: brushes, rollers, exterior tape, paint trays, paint liners, and our newly purchased, 5 gallon bucket of Timberwolf Grey paint (Fierce, we know.) As I laid out them all out, trying to situate them in a somewhat logical way, I noticed a trail of weeds lining the base of our first wall. I thought for a minute, looking from the paint to the weeds, groaned, and walked back into the shop to grab some gloves. I then squatted down in front of the wall and started pulling the weeds up one by one, feeling the afternoon sun beating through the canopy onto my neck.

“I should have just waited until later to pull these,” I thought.

It was all worth it however, once they were gone and we were able to put our first few strokes of paint on the wall, without having to maneuver around them. If I’d waited, who knows how long I would have put it off. Pulling weeds was never going to sound fun or appealing, but it would always be something that needed to be done, and waiting would’ve only given the weeds time to grow taller, thicker and more problematic.

When we take the time to pull up the weeds, we make room to see the beautiful things growing beyond them. Sure, these weeds were just blocking a wall to paint, but who knows what will lay behind the next patch I find. Whatever it is, I’m not going to let a little sweat and dirt keep me from getting to it.