Post last updated: October 11th, 2018
You just can’t get decent free help. No matter how much someone may want to help you deep in their heart, when the appointed hour nears, they find excuses to scratch themselves from your calendar. The original plan was for Evie to help me empty the greenhouse on Saturday, March 23.
Evie hates anything involving dirt, so she conjured up a couple of funerals she suddenly needed to attend. I then asked my sister.
Sis was agreeable but reminded me of her obligation for that day which was part of her reason for heading south of the Mason Dixon Line in the first place. I couldn’t argue with this anymore than I could argue with a funeral and Evie does love a funeral. Did I tell you that at Momma’s memorial when the family entered the church from a side door, Evie was the first to come out the door where members of three different churches, mostly Caucasian, gaped in wonderment at our chocolate child? At the reception afterwards, one woman asked Evie, “And how do you fit in?” Evie and I are still rolling on the floor about that one.
After lunch on Sunday, Sis suggested that we clean out the greenhouse. Since it was her suggestion, I’m at least gonna give her an A+ for willingness. It turned out that she didn’t know squat about plants. Most every plant she picked up was followed by the suggestion that we throw it out because, in her estimation, “It looks dead to me!”
“No, it’s not dead. New leaves will form from the roots.” She frowned every time I said this as if it were absolutely, positively not within the realm of belief.
At one point, she was standing in the doorway of the greenhouse with nothing to do. I handed her the scissors I was using and said, “Cut off the brown stuff.” I assumed she had been watching me and would carry on in a similar fashion. As usual, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I turned back around to check on her progress and found a PILE of the feet from my rabbit’s foot fern lying on the floor. I stifled a shriek but I probably said something like, “CAN’T YOU FOLLOW DIRECTIONS?”
“I’m cutting off the brown stuff just like you said,” she retorted.
“The brown stuff did not include the rabbit’s feet. You were only supposed to cut off the leaves with brown rust.”
“You told me to cut off the brown stuff. These alien-looking fuzzy things you are calling rabbit’s feet are brown. They need a haircut. And they look dead to me!”
I pointed to a potted dead chrysanthemum on the floor and said, “Can we agree that this plant is dead? REALLY dead?”
“Yes, it looks dead to me,” she agreed.
There was no use trying to further explain the difference between dead and dormant plants to someone who can’t follow directions. I scooped up the decapitated rabbit’s feet and stuffed them in an available pot where the existing plant was, in all likelihood, deader ‘n doornail. My efforts were met with disgust.
“You realize that looks like a giant, hairy spider trying to climb out of the pot,” she said.
The thing I want to know from my fellow gardeners is this: Should I repot the rabbit’s nest fern in a hanging basket where the feet can dangle or does my fern really need a haircut like Sis suggests?