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Plants Are People, Too

ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARILYNNE ROACH

One day I happened to hear some horticulturalists discussing plants and their nervous systems. They claimed that plants are capable of reacting to their environment. Shortly after that, a friend of mine gave me a beautiful plant, my first. Remembering the words of the plant experts, I vowed to treat it like a member of the family.

At dinner I told the children that plants have feelings, too, and that if we are good to our plant, it will keep blooming for us. My eight-year-old son, Jack, went into the garage and returned with a spoonful of Miracle-Gro and fed it to the plant, saying, “This is good for you and will make you feel better.” Later on, he and my three-year-old daughter said goodnight to the plant and went off to bed.

The next day the plant rallied. It was straighter and brighter. But then it happened. My three-year-old had a temper tantrum with ear-piercing shrieking. I spoke softly, “Please, Janet, stop screaming. You don’t want the plant to die, do you?” With that, she stomped across the room to the plant, put her mouth right down into the pistil, and, in as loud a voice as possible, screamed, “YOU STUPID IDIOT!”

After I calmed my daughter down, I tried to soothe the plant with, “I know just how you feel. I feel the same way when she screams like that. We have to be strong. Just hang in there.” The plant survived but, sadly, was never the same again. I think it had a plant stroke.

To give you an idea of what my poor little plant suffered that day, the three-year-old grew up to be a rock singer.

What’s your worst gardening mistake? Send it to GREENPRINTS, Broken Trowel Award, P.O. Box 1355, Fairview, NC 28730. If we print it, you’ll get a free one-year subscription and our GREENPRINTS Companion CD!


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