Monday, February 3, 2014

Welcome to the Jungle

This fall, I had an idea. I thought it was a great idea. So I went with it. Big mistake.

My idea was to save money. Usually, a good idea. Except when it’s not. And I’ve been there, done that before. There was the year when my kids were little and I made baby wipes. Imagine me with a huge knife sawing a roll of Bounty paper towels in half. After a year, I had a completely ruined knife. And I’m not sure how much money I actually saved.

But I didn’t learn my lesson that a penny saved is not necessarily a penny earned. This year I decided to save money by bringing all my annuals into the house and over-wintering them. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I could save money and have lush plants come spring. So I dug the plants, potted them and placed them all over the house.

Now it’s the beginning of February and I wish they would just die.


They’re too big. One plant has massive twining tendrils that cling to the doors of my armoire, so I have to hold them back every time I open the armoire.

They have high water demands. One of them has to be watered twice a day! Ridiculous. I got my dog a massive water bowl so I only have to fill it once a day—and I love my dog.

They are clutter. I hate clutter (unless it’s book clutter). And plants are clutter. They destroy the soul-calming effect of clean, flat surfaces. (Caveat, all indoor plants are clutter, except orchids. Orchids are experiments in elegance and grace. And more importantly, they only need to be watered once a week.)

I used cheap pots. Instead of buying good pots, I used what I had so I could save even more money. And I didn’t realize that some of my cheap pots had leak issues. What a mess.

I realize there’s an easy solution to my problem. Toss the plants. But here’s the thing, I put up with these plants through Thanksgiving when the house was packed with people. I put up with these plants during Christmas when I was fighting with the tree that liked to fall over. And I cared for these plants through colds and sickness—yes, I should be making myself hot tea and running a vaporizer, but instead, I’m watering plants. And if I tossed the plants, then my sacrifices would all be for nothing.

So I can do this for two more months. But never again. 

Although maybe if I put them in the basement next year…


  1. I am now imagining your house as if it's part of that one scene in Jumanji. Just be thankful there are no monkeys in the mix!

  2. Guess it's time to switch to perannuals only.

  3. Don't toss the plants! Don't toss the plants! I agree, all that effort would be for nothing.

    However . . . you can get a GREAT story out of this trial and tribulation. Your writing is very funny. You could get even an interesting picture book for kids out of it. There's definitely a good story lurking behind all the plant leaves and vines. Go for it!

  4. Oh Lord, best-laid plans...

    I don't have a solution but I love your commitment to doing things differently and your determination!