Saturday, December 11, 2021

My Own Personal Insanity


Well, all I can say is thank goodness it's the weekend. For one thing, I can finally get outside during daylight and take some pictures! It's been very nocturnal around here lately. Unfortunately today there's a 90 percent chance of rain, so any lengthy walks will probably have to wait until tomorrow.

I'm in a conundrum about our Plectranthus plants. They've been in a hanging basket outdoors all summer but they've been nipped by frost. I was going to just throw them away -- I think they're basically annuals, at least here in the UK. I brought one basketful through last winter indoors, but they were very messy, dropping leaves all over the place, and I'd rather not go through that again. I never even wanted them -- Mrs. Kravitz got them free at the start of lockdown in Spring 2020 and I adopted them. But for some reason I am feeling incredibly guilty about discarding them.

I swear, I think I have a mental illness when it comes to plants. I cannot bring myself to kill them. I have trouble even pulling weeds. Dave keeps telling me, "They're just a chemical reaction." But they're also living things and I don't want to be responsible for their demise.

Then again, it's impossible to garden without killing. Unless you're just going to let nature take over, in which case you don't have a garden, you have an unkempt plot of land.

Even though I've already dumped the "Plectranthi" in the yard waste bag, I might wind up putting them in another pot and bringing them inside for the winter. Aaaaaargh!

In other news, several weeks ago, we had someone come to the front door selling copies of newspapers produced by the Socialist Workers Party or something like that. For some unfathomable reason, Dave bought one. It was a gray publication filled with dogmatic, strenuous articles about the plight of the underclasses. I agree with socialism in its gentler, most democratic forms, but even I found it unreadable.

Anyway, last weekend the guy was back again with yet another newspaper. Because we'd bought the last one I felt compelled to buy this one, even though, once again, I couldn't bring myself to read it.

I'm too guilty to throw away plants. I'm too guilty not to buy a newspaper I won't read.

I'm a mess.

(Photo: South Hampstead, last week.)

45 comments:

Frances said...

Can I suggest that you take some " cuttings "from the plants and try and root them ( in water) and then you won't feel so bad about throwing the main plant away...it is what I do ! If they root they will be small enough to manage indoors, and it they don't, well, you have given the plant a chance.I totally understand your dilemma! I find it very hard to throw a living plant away. Enjoy your daylight over the weekend, hope there isn't too much rain. Looks OK for us until later afternoon anyway.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Well, you may not be a mess, but you certainly not hard-hearted! That guy will be back every week to sell you another newspaper. I used to be like you about tossing plants. SG is the other extreme. He’s worn away at my plant kindness over the years. I just threw away all 5 hibiscus after a long war with aphids. I gave up. It didn’t dawn on my to ship them to you.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I think that COVID, lockdowns and the related personal anxieties have perhaps brought such tendencies to the fore in many people. Even if we don't catch the virus, psychologically we are all still affected by it. Your reluctance to "kill" plants is similar to my own resistance to the killing of any living creatures.

Debby said...

Well, I think that you are a kind person, and cannot bring yourself to hurt others. In an unkind world, kindness does matter.

PS: You do know the paper peddler will be back, right? You'll have to tell him at some point that while you have read his papers and agree with him in theory about many of the issues, you disagree strongly on methodology.

Weeds? They are unkillable. They will always survive. When you throw them in your yard waste, they are actually being moved to a new place to grow and thrive. Think of it as sending them out into the world.

Tasker Dunham said...

Equality for plants! Send in your article to improve the paper.

crafty cat corner said...

Glad its not just me, I always say sorry to the flowers that are past their best when I put them in the bin and thank them for giving me their beauty. I hate cutting down the bushes in the garden and inspect each piece for small snails as I can't bear to think of them dying in the black bag. lol
Briony
x

ellen abbott said...

It's OK to say NO. As for the plants, if they are annuals just leave them outside and let nature take its course. Once it's dead you can pull it up without guilt. But (and here I'm probably going to add to your guilt), Dave's wrong. Plants are more than just chemical reactions. They are sentient beings in their own way. All life is sentient, otherwise it wouldn't be life. Still, all life comes to a natural end so new life can grow so it's OK to let a plant come to its natural end.

jenny_o said...

What I've found helps with this kind of reluctance (which extends to inanimate, unliving objects as well, for many people, i.e. hoarding of all kinds) is to just get rid of something. Somehow this makes it easier to get rid of something else, which makes it easier to get rid of something else, etc. It does provoke anxiety at first, but practice makes it easier. This is just my method; as they say, your mileage may vary.

I like ellen's point that all life comes to a natural end so it's OK to let a plant do that. Sometimes I also think about all the tiny, invisible-to-the-naked-eye critters that we get rid of when dusting, vacuuming, etc. We cannot fail to kill things unless we basically sit in one spot and not move!

Mary said...

If the worse thing anyone can say about you is that you are kind-hearted. So be it.

Sharon said...

That's a lot a guilt to carry around. You know that guy will be back again. You need a plan to decline politely.

Ms. Moon said...

I would easily be able to tell newspaper guy that after perusing his offerings I have no more interest.
As to the plants- you know me. And the darn thing is, if I did thin more plants, the ones remaining would have such healthier lives! We must gird our loins, Steve! We must be ruthless!

Ellen D. said...

You are a dearheart, Steve, and the world needs more of you!
I like Debby's theory about yardwaste actually sending your plants out to new places to grow! No guilt then!

robin andrea said...

You may be a mess, but you're the best kind of mess... empathy, sympathy, kindness, awareness. Yes, it may fill your heart with sadness, but it recognizes the light, life, and desire to persist in all living things. Thank you for all that you do, including not buying unreadable newspapers!

Red said...

There are some very negative publications out there. Funny these guys use paper instead of various internet sites. You're a sensitive man. Make no apologies for it.

Ed said...

Perhaps an intervention is in order, one that involves rolled up capitalist newspapers being used to bludgeon plants to death.

John Going Gently said...

In the words of sue from the great British bake off
“ get a grib ruby, get a ruddy grip”

Margaret said...

I can't kill living plants either but sometimes I put them in an area where I know they won't survive for long. Euthanasia? I would be able to resist the newspaper but I have a hard time not putting a bit of money in the bell ringers buckets this time of year.

The Bug said...

Mike is the same way about plants. He was SO SAD to have to throw Mandy the Mandevilla away. She had been beautiful, but I wasn't excited about trying to overwinter her in the tub with the geraniums.

And I would be the same way about the newspaper - I wouldn't want to hurt the guy's feelings, and he needs to make a living, right? I know - I'm no help :)

Bob said...

Carlos will not part with any plant indoors or out. Over the last several years we've had a few trees taken down for a variety of reasons, and I always have to talk Carlos off a ledge!

Me? I'm the guy who would tell the newspaper guy, 'No thanks.'

37paddington said...

Ah Steve, you are a kind Zen Buddhist soul. Remember, when you pull weeds, you allow other life to thrive and achieve their full potential. You will incur no karmic chains pulling weeds, I think. But then, what do I know?

Angelicastar said...

Hi Steve, Dave and Olga (my beautiful girl). I love the color of that tree. Awww you are so kind to the guy and the weeds. (laughing) Sometimes you have to tell someone where to go but in the nicest way that you can. I went online last week to get a Homeowner's Insurance Quote from AAA and I just knew they were going to go crazy with my personal information(email, phone) and they did go crazy. 2 and 3 times a day there were emails coming through and an Agent was calling. I ask them to stop emailing me about changing my car Insurance because I was trying to get a homeowner quote but it blocked that and gave me an automobile insurance quote and was letting them know I do have homeowner insurance now with Farmers Insurance. That didn't do any good. I had to block the number and the email. Nice people finish last Steve. It's nothing wrong with it and I prefer to be the nice person but sometimes you have to tell then to go away and hope they understand what you meant. (lol)

Andrew said...

Imagine what it must be like at a Socialist Workers Party meeting!
I see Ratana has invited you to online cock fighting. Have fun.

Steve Reed said...

That's a good idea, and I actually did do that, but I still can't throw away the main plant! I compromised -- there were actually four plants in a single hanging basket, and I saved two of them and then stuck the cuttings around them. We'll see what lives.

Steve Reed said...

I think it must feel great to get rid of those hibiscus. That's the thing -- when the plants become burdensome, why shouldn't they be thrown out? I understand that but I still have trouble doing it.

Steve Reed said...

That's an interesting point. I wonder if my little anxieties are heightened by Covid. Probably!

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, I know he'll come around again. Hopefully Dave will deal with him! HE started this! LOL!

Steve Reed said...

Oh, and I like your idea about "sending them out into the world." Sometimes that IS a solution, to reframe the way we're looking at a problem.

Steve Reed said...

Ha! The Socialist Gardener's Party!

Steve Reed said...

You and I think exactly alike. I also look over all my yard waste to rescue the snails.

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, I sort of was doing that, but then I tried to throw them out a little too early so they're still alive and that triggered all my rescue impulses!

Steve Reed said...

It's true -- it's like breaking a dam. The trick is to get some movement going. When I was a Zen practitioner years ago my teachers always emphasized that it is impossible not to kill. Just living requires killing.

Steve Reed said...

Or they say, "What a sap!"

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, it's true. I'm hoping Dave will deal with him next time!

Steve Reed said...

I suppose I could say I just don't really like the publication, right? Except he probably writes half of it. I suspect the Socialist Workers Party is a relatively small operation.

And of course you're right about the plants. Hence thinning the seedlings, right?!

Steve Reed said...

Yeah, it WOULD help a lot to change my perspective on what I'm doing. I'll have to try that!

Steve Reed said...

In the future I shall strive not to buy! LOL!

Steve Reed said...

It's not a negative publication, necessarily, it's just not very readable or interesting!

Steve Reed said...

LOL -- that sounds like a Monty Python skit!

Steve Reed said...

Absolutely. I DO need to get a grip. I overthink!

Steve Reed said...

Sometimes I can do that too -- let nature take its course. Then I don't feel responsible for the death!

Steve Reed said...

I never had luck with those mandevillas. I had one in Florida once and it didn't live long.

Steve Reed said...

Trees are especially hard, because they take so long to grow. I think I'd be with Carlos on that one! But I know sometimes it has to be done.

Steve Reed said...

It's true -- like Ms. Moon said, it enables the other plants to live better lives. Such a tangled web! LOL!

Steve Reed said...

Well, that's especially annoying -- when you're getting a quote for one kind of insurance and they give you the hard sell on another! For some reason I can be pretty firm with telemarketers, though I do try to keep it civil. At least blocking the number avoids direct confrontation!

Steve Reed said...

As you can see, I did not take Ratana up on her offer. LOL!