Some of the regular readers will recall my blog entries last year on the For the Love of Jasmine and For the Love of Jasmine (2). When I adopted this plant, I didn’t realise how much it would mirror my state of mind. Starting out strong and courageous in the conservatory, Jasmine slowly but surely began showing signs of craving fresh air. A change was needed, and so out it went onto the balcony late spring and throughout the entire summer. It wasn’t particularly happy with its immediate neighbour, the Gingko, and continued to show telltale signs of depression, pretty much like me. I prepared myself for the worst, thinking it was going to wither and die, but this plant is too stubborn to go down without a fight. A few days I brought her back into the conservatory and fed her coffee grounds (after I had my coffee of course) and place her next to more inspiring company – the magnifica. All she needs is the warmth of a home and a loving hand to nurse her back to life.
At the height of summer this year I brought Johnny home. Like most independent and self-assured males, this Johnny Appleseed didn’t like being cooped up indoors and quickly made it known to me that he didn’t appreciate his new surroundings or the company of my cats. So I put him out as well and placed him next to Jasmine, hoping they would nurture each other. It didn’t work. Johnny hogged all the sunshine, overshadowing Jasmine in every sense of the word. She tolerated it but didn’t flourish under his companionship, and shrunk even further. They are both back in the conservatory, each in a separate corner and recovering at their own pace. Johnny is showing signs of sprouting new leaves, as the tiny buds on the branches have announced. Jasmine is sulking in her new corner but also offering fresh new leaves.
It is strange how plants can take on such behaviour like this. Yes Amy, plants do have personalities. For example, I have two orchids, both given to me as gifts by different people. In the beginning they were in separate rooms and different windowsills and looked incredibly lonely. The moment I moved them to a common window and placed them together they began to sprout new leaves and now they are both in bloom. Maybe I should have named them Kate and Meghan… My lavenders, on the other hand, are utterly anti-social and refused to be even potted together.
On some days I am Jasmine, withered and overwhelmed by life and change, and on others I am Johnny, strong, confident and ready to weather any storm. On weekends I feel more like my antisocial lavender, but on most days, I am a gardenia, doing things at my own pace and flowering when nobody else cares.