Wednesday, 29 August 2012

I have a deep, dark secret.....

I have a deep, dark secret.....
29 August 2012

I have a deep, dark secret.  One that fills me with equal portions of dread and shame.  In fact it is so bad, it’s along the lines of “I see dead people”.  Except that that, is absolutely nothing compared to the horror that I have to live with on a daily basis.  So here we go.  Confession time…

I kill plants.

Now wait, don’t laugh.  I’m deadly serious.  This is no joking matter.  And if you knew my family, you would understand.  Every single one of them has been blessed with an abundance of green fingers, which leads me to believe that collectively they might even have received my share too.  And this gift is not merely limited to the womenfolk in my family either.  The men are equally prolific greenies - my uncles, grandfather, step-dad, heck even my step-grandfather has the whole growing thing going for them.  My 5 year old niece, Honey, is better at growing plants than I am.  Most of them could stick a piece of plywood or even a pencil in the ground and within a very short period of time, it would be sprouting, indeed flowering and bearing edible fruits, I’m sure.

But please, don’t judge me too harshly.  It is never my intention to kill them, it’s more of a by-product.  Initially I get all excited about my next green victim and then I go through a process of over watering them and drowning them in the process.  Once I’ve realised that I’ve made the same mistake yet again, I go through a process of not watering them enough.  I wouldn’t be surprised if my plants commit suicide rather than face the whole drowning/parched/over-watering/intense thirst thing.

What make it even worse, is the fact that I really like plants.  It's nothing personal - I swear.  They create such ambience in a garden and home.  I greatly admire plants and envy the ability of the lucky few that can grow them.  Unfortunately, I'm just not one of the lucky few.

And my beloved Ouma Helene has just given me a beautiful pot of Lachenalia’s – I feel sorry for them already.  I will try my best, I really will.  But I’m not filled with optimism.  The odd green thing in my garden, is there despite me.  It’s those blasted plants that won’t admit defeat and good on them.  The die-hard types, that look after themselves.  For all I know, they might actually be weeds.  I don’t really mind.  If they’re brave enough to live with me and survive, they’ve got incredible stamina and a phenomenal will to live.

My forays in to horticulture, read like a horror story.  How to put the fear of God into Horticulture students?  Show them the pics of what I can do to plants, given a very short period of time.  Enough to give them nightmares, making them wake up in the middle of the night, in a cold sweat, screaming – “Just don’t water them again.  Enough!  Enough!  Enough!  I can only take so much”.  Alternated by – “Parched, absolutely parched.  My tongue is sticking to my pallet.  My kingdom for a drop of water.  Can’t you hear the plants screaming?”.  They’d band together, signing petitions, marching on to Stodels, and giving a list of their demands to the Plant Police.

Can you imagine what poor Prince Charles would do, if he was to know what I did.  It would make him run to Mummy in horror, exclaiming “Off with her head”, I’m sure!

A few years ago, two friends gave me plants for my birthday.  It was like a death sentence for those poor plants.  Mere weeks later they were terminal and within a month they had perished.  Now, I’m not saying that plants can talk or that they can’t talk, but if mine could, they’d be begging for Euthanasia.
Exibit A - Birthday loot, including 2 plants. The big bunch in the middle is from my mom and is fake. Shame she has learnt the hard way.  Note the date - 13/01/08.  Perfectly healthy beautiful plants.  Very much alive.

Exibit B - Birthday loot.  Note the date - 13/02/08.  Just one month later.  It was a very long, protracted death.  The end was merciful - for both of us.  I prefer to not dwell on this one, as I had "grown" rather attached to my roses.

Exibit C - My latest victim.  I shall show true kindness to this one, as I do to all of the others.  Anyway, must dash, quickly want to go and water it.


  1. Lovely Helene! The lachanalias are going to 'sleep' all by themselves - don't be too hard on yourself!
    They'll be a pleasant surprise next year - with or without your watering schedule.

  2. Ek verstaan - Ma maak nou vir my vetplante groot.
    Dis blykbaar moeiliker om hulle dood te maak.

  3. Baie snaaks!! I do feel sorry for exhibit full of life and hope and still young...only for it to end in such a (really very very) tragic way. RIP to Exhibit B and VIP (and good luck, love and very nice talking to) to Exhibit C! xxxx ps. Mommy's growing some for us too...much easier if someone else does it!