Friday, September 18, 2015

What to do with the blooms ...

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

It's been a difficult summer. Losing my mother was just the beginning. Clearing out her house has been a monumental task. And what do I do about her plants?

This little guy is blooming again right now.
When Mum went to hospice, I asked her if she wanted to take any of her plants.  She said no.  I took one anyway. A little African violet that was blooming its heart out.  Sometimes the volunteers would water it, but usually I'd find it pretty dry and water it.  After my mother died, I went to the hospice house to pick up her things and saw the plant sitting outside and looking very unhappy.  I took it home with me and it has lived on my kitchen counter next to my cactus.

Early this summer, I gave five or six of Mum's houseplants that could live outside to her neighbor. Amy was very happy to get them, immediately planted them outside, and most of them are doing well. But what do I do with the rest of them?

My Mum had a green thumb. Me? Not so much. But I try.  In fact, I've been taking care of the rest of her houseplants and, so far--so good.  But what do I do with them?  I already have my own houseplants.  Mum left behind two more African violets and at least seven orchids.  After she died, one of the violets exploded with blooms.  Two of the orchids have bloomed (one just last week, and another is going to bloom soon--she had wonderful luck with orchids).  They like the eastern sun exposure, I guess.  But I already have five orchids of my own.  My brother doesn't want them. Mr. L doesn't want to feel like he's living in a conservatory, and I can't bear to throw out a living plant that hasn't every hurt anybody. 

So, what should I do with her plants?




7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The first thing I thought of was a garden club. If there is one in your area, perhaps members would take the plants or know people who would.
Zena

Maggie Sefton said...

I know what you mean, Lorraine. After my mom passed at the end oI May, I took all of my mom's plants from the healthcare facility. I have them outside in my front sitting all around my front step and the gardens, in between the rose bushes. And a LOT of them are African violets. Later this fall when it gets colder, I'll re-pot all those violets in some larger pots and probably take them to to some of the other skilled care and assisted living facilities to give to patients. Florists do that regularly. Bunches of flowers would show up in my mother's room these last 4 years and they were leftovers from florists. :)

AnneL said...

A garden club is a great idea, or how about your friends or maybe a senior center?

Linda A. Thompson-Ditch said...

Didn't you mention in a previous post that you would be holding another garage sale? If so, add the plants to the sale items. You could even mark them "free" to help them find new homes. If you belong to a church or other organization, you might see if s notice can be placed in the bulletin or newsletter to the plants' availability. Are you keeping the African violet that just keeps blooming? I'd think I'd have trouble letting that one go. Take care as you continue on your journey.

Anonymous said...

If I were you, I would keep the African violet that was at hospice. In addition to the garden club, you might see is there is a county Extension office which usually has a list of Master Gardeners for the county. Surely one or more people from that list live near you. Also, I know that there are always master gardeners at the two big farmers' markets near me. Cordella

Grandma Cootie said...

Tough question. I like the suggestions for a senior center or give away at the garage sale or donate somehow. But while I don't have any other ideas for what to do with the plants, I would like to say that I think you should keep whatever of hers makes you feel good, but don't keep anything just because you would feel bad getting rid of it. It's okay if your tastes and hobbies weren't the same as hers. I speak from experience. When my mom died she didn't leave behind much "stuff" but I have several of her old paperbacks and handwritten cookbooks and recipe cards. We shared a love of reading and cooking so they are special to me, and don't take over my house. When my youngest daughter died in a car accident nearly 20 years ago and my granddaughter came to live with us a couple years later, I had a lot of things my daughter had used to decorate. Some my style but not really but made me feel her presence. However, I have just finished a major home remodel and have now gone ahead and gotten rid of most of those things and it feels right. Take care, this is a tough journey.

Lorraine Bartlett said...

All wonderful suggestions, thank you. I would dearly love to keep the orchids, since mine seem happy in my family room, I think hers might adapt, but ... sneaking them past Mr. L is going to be difficult.