House Plants and a Magical Watering Can

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I have had house plants for as long as I’ve been old enough to make the decision to have them. I’m not exaggerating when I say that, because you see the big one with the red leaves in the pictures? I started that plant while just entering high school, from a cutting that I bought at the annual exhibition we have here in Toronto. It’s like a fair but really big … big enough to have a whole building dedicated to plants, called the Horticultural Building. I was always the only one in my family who ever wanted to waste precious fair-time going into that building. (You can see pictures of our visit to the Ex a couple of years ago here if you’d like.)

The cutting came 3 for 2 dollars, but only one took root. And take root it did, beginning its life on a little table in the small bedroom I shared with my sister, then coming with me to university for four years, and back to the city every summer, and then being there in every home I’ve lived in since then.

It actually almost died once, after a move in the middle of a very cold January, when the doors were left wide open as furniture was moved out and in again. All of its leaves fell off and I was resigned to letting it go. Actually, to be honest, I was welcoming the cessation of responsibility involved in keeping it alive.

But it is still going strong today, and every year I have to cut off huge sections so that it doesn’t just take over the place.

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Over the years more plants have moved in, one, the Schefflera (Umbrella Plant), the one in the window to the right of Big Red, was bought in a tiny pot to decorate the bedside table in the apartment I lived in when I met Nick. In fact, I bought it to spruce things up because he was coming over for the first time. (It was an open concept apartment so you could see the bedroom from the living room, in case you were wondering, lol!)

I guess I am just good with plants, and have a hard time killing them. Even if they are unattractive … they just live on and on. Not bragging here, just admitting to something that I am good at, although I must say it comes naturally and I don’t really try all that hard at it. I just give them light and water, and switch them to a bigger pot when they need it.

Yes, water. I used to have a regular sized watering can for indoors, that I would have to go back and forth to the kitchen filling up over and over again, every time I was watering. Then we got this lovely red can. It was really to water the plants outside in the summer, but I brought it inside in the fall because I didn’t want it to get damaged. Then I thought, might as well use it to water the house plants.

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However I didn’t give it pride of place right there in the living room, as though it is a piece of decoration, right off the bat. No, after watering I used to put it away in the garage. But I stopped putting it away exactly 4 months ago.

Why? Look and see.

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This has been going on since the demise of Eddie the Cat’s excellent red Pyrex bowl, after it had an unfortunate meeting with the tile floor and broke into a hundred pieces. I know the date of that occurrence exactly because I documented the reason for the bowl being in the bathroom in the first place, here. A toy mouse had mysteriously been dunked into the water and I brought it and the bowl to the bathroom to dry off.

Since that bowl broke, the watering can has become the only place from which Eddie will now drink. Seriously … because you know I have tried to offer him some very nice alternatives. But no. The fresh water I keep in those nice bowls is just not good.

Now, this watering can takes a lot of water, and I only water the plants once a week or so (except for the small pots that dry out), but I don’t go around wasting water and dumping it every day, so that little Lord Furface will have fresh water. This guy takes his water well aged. Even when he was drinking from the bowl, he always had to wait a good long time until the water reached a sufficient state of staleness.

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At first I thought that if the water was left to stand long enough he would eventually go and drink from his proper bowl. But this hasn’t happened yet.

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Thanks very much for dropping over. Happy Caturday to you.
xo loulou

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