Pick Me Up

A friend brought flowers a week ago with a note that said, “You can’t kill these.”  I’m paraphrasing.  She says she is not good with plants and I say I am not good with plants, but she assures me that the cyclamen will survive.  It was a particularly endearing gift as she loves color, but knows I like white flowers so she gave me what I would want instead of what she would want.  That’s a good friend.
A few days after their arrival I came into the kitchen and they had collapsed over the edge of their bowl in a melodramatic heap.  Like my youngest child they quickly learned that to get any attention around here you have to have a very big reaction.  It was either their location by the breezy subzero window or a lack of water, but they made their point.
(As an aside, it was during this discovery that I realized that there is no good connotation of the adjective “limp.” While one can have a “wicked” back swing and that sort of thing, I could not think of one situation in which limp is good.  I’ll go as far as to say that limp is something I never want to be.)
I gave them a good drink – not too little, not too much – and waited. I sat at the table and talked to them a little, pointing out interesting things in the Times. Nothing.  Back and forth to feed the dogs and let the dogs out and let the dogs in, all the while looking at the patients out of the corner of my eye.  No.  I was sure I’d killed them.
But after my shower I came downstairs to refill my coffee cup and they were as jaunty and jovial as ever.  They called “Hello!” as I passed by and, thankfully, did not hold a grudge.  I can only say that I am disappointed that they were too shy to let me see their rejuvenation as I would have surely enjoyed the ballet of each bloom on its slender stem rising from its bow.

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14 thoughts on “Pick Me Up

  1. Another happy outcome! Saw Rich Hoffman last weekend at Bottoms Up-the discussion led to what to do with my mantel…he suggested cyclamen for now, then paperwhites, pansies and finally ferns for summer. Told me to head to Trader Joe's. Guess I need him to do my thinking for me!

  2. It's really fun when you learn what a particular plant likes in terms of water, sun/shade and attention. then it becomes easy to be great at taking care of that particular kind:)

    And yes, a good friend indeed is one who gives you what YOU love instead of what they love!

  3. Indeed cyclamen are persistent and easy. Just keep moist to prevent fainting spells, cool nights are a plus (near your breezy window) and another key is to deadhead by a slight pull on the spent bloom as close to the bulb of the plant as possible. New blooms will continue appearing for months. Same for leaves that turn yellow or brown. Enjoy!

  4. Your giftedness with words e.g. "I can only say that I am disappointed that they were too shy to let me see their rejuvenation as I would have surely enjoyed the ballet of each bloom…and your quirky but brilliant observations e.g. no redeeming uses of the word limp, are why I am an avid fan! Thank you for sharing your talents.

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