“Here’s a present for you!” my friend proclaimed.
With that, she presented me a small fig plant in a tiny container, about 3 inches in diameter. I put it on the end table in my living room and did my best to keep it alive.
At the time, I lived in an old house in western Maryland, that got very little sunlight. So keeping that little fig plant alive presented quite a challenge.
But the next year, we moved to sunny Colorado, the state that averages 300 days of sunshine per year. My little fig tree took off, growing ever bigger. I re-potted it several times over the last several years. Now our fig tree has become a monster, towering 6 feet tall and taking over most of our great room at our home in Nederland.
During my early years of working for the Park Service, I avoided having any living things, including house plants. Since I worked seasonal and often had to pile all my worldly belongings into my car after six months, I wanted to be portable. Plants just took up a lot of space and were difficult to fit into my car.
Finally, when I got a permanent position, I started feeling different. I literally wanted to have roots someplace and longed for greenery in my apartments. I stopped by the nursery and would bring home asparagus ferns, cactus and other plants.
Our home in Nederland provides the perfect place for greenery to flourish. With sky lights, and huge windows facing west and south, they just seem to grow bigger and bigger. The plants frequently get root bound from their growth, so I’m continually buying new planters to keep re-potting,
I doesn’t seem to matter what kind of plant it is, they all love it here in the mountains of Colorado. We’ve got large palms, but an array of succulents as well, including jade plants and cacti. Even the plants I’ve put on the north side of our house are quickly too big for their small pots.
Friends tell my I have a green thumb. but in reality I don’t do much. I mostly just water them once a week, and let the rays of sun do the rest. The biggest threat to their survival is our 4-legged residents. Our one cat, Dora, seems to love chewing on the leaves of one. Our other cat, Simba, decided the large containers were in fact, giant dirt litter boxes. I had to devise a mesh screen to put over the top, to keep kitty from using the fig tree to potty in.
I suppose I’ve grown to love my indoor plants, due to the lack of outdoor gardening. Living off a well and septic system, water conservation laws prohibit us using well water for outdoor purposes. The only way we can have water for a garden would be to collect rain water into a cistern.
After years of moving around like a vagabond, I’ve found my home. A home that not only gives me roots, but is place with roots of all kinds of living things. Those roots give me a sense of peace and good feeling each time I come home every evening.