Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cosmos: Before and After

Dave and I went to Waitrose yesterday morning to pick up some tarragon. While there, we looked over their selection of houseplants. This pathetic example sagged forlornly on a top shelf, baking in direct sun.

"I have to save it," I told Dave.

He thought I was crazy, but I took it in to the cashier. The plant, a white cosmos, was originally priced at £10, reduced to £4.99. I got it for £1.50.

Dave rolled his eyes, and the cashier nodded in agreement: "I think it's awful," he said.

We brought the plant home. I put a stake in the pot and tied up the saggy, broken branches as best I could. Then we plunged the whole pot into a bucket of water and left it there overnight.

This morning, our cosmos is looking much perkier. It remains to be seen how well it will do long-term, but we're off to a good start, don't you think?

I just can't stand to see a neglected plant in a supermarket (where, let's face it, employees are often not trained in the care of houseplants). Stores must love suckers like me.

I went on an outing to the Tate Britain yesterday to see an exhibit called "Painting with Light," about the relationship between photography and other forms of art in the Victorian era. It focused generally on photographers inspiring painters, and vice versa. It's always mind-blowing to see photos from 100 to 150 years ago and more. A lost world!


  1. Well saved Steve!

    I'm not too sure the stores see you as a sucker, not at one pound fifty a plant...


  2. The plant whisperer strikes again! I hope it survives...

  3. You saved a life! Good for you, Steve! Proud of you.

  4. Another success! I think you revived the cosmos just in time and that it will be just fine under your care. I bought an astilbe at the supermarket on Monday as it was there waiting for a good home.
    Thank you for the link to the Tate exhibit.

  5. I could rant about poor treatment of plants in stores as opposed to garden centers.

  6. I feel sorry for the poor plants wilting in direct hot sun, too! Unfortunately I'd have to buy them by the flat here. There is no incentive for minimum wage earners at chain stores to spend time on caring for plants in addition to their regular jobs and I don't blame them. I tend to go to nurseries these days - more expensive but local.

    The revival of your cosmos is nothing short of amazing! It's a completely different plant now. If it came back that well, I don't think it will suffer any long-term damage. Hopefully I didn't just jinx it.

  7. You're the new Charlie Brown and Linus combo. Bravo on the reviving of the little cosmos! I love that you did this.

  8. You have the kindest soul and that plant has responded to it!

  9. Between you & Dave, it's a wonder there's any room left in your garden :). That's a pretty amazing transformation, though!

  10. I feel sorry for neglected plants, too. Cosmos have lovely flowers, I'm sure you'll be amply rewarded for your kind deed!

  11. What a metaphor for life!
    Steve, I discovered you through Ms.Moon and have been a silent admirer for awhile, but just had to comment on this one.
    Well done, mate! What a lucky, thriving plant who stumbled upom such a loving home!!!