07 January 2011


You're going to have to look pretty hard to find signs of life here, but they're there. My button fern, so hot-housey and particular, suffered without water when water was what it needed most and this is what remains. I had lavished attention on this little plant because it was so sensitive and obviously in need of love.  Unlike my orchids, which have proven themselves comparatively brazen and independent, this darling fern has  required constant attention to keep its fronds vibrant and happy.  I excerpt a description of precisely the kind of environment required by ferns:... ferns are delicate plants that only grow in areas where there are suitably moist conditions. They favour sheltered areas under the forest canopy, along creeks and streams and other sources of permanent moisture. They cannot grow readily in hot dry areas... like the Kalahari Desert of a Massachusetts apartment.  When I returned to find it brown and wizened after a weekend away, I was heartbroken.  Odd, I suppose, to become so attached to a plant, but I take the lives of other living creatures seriously and was moved to mourn its sorry state.  Many days had passed before I could bring myself to prune away the dead fronds. Then there, just visible beneath the crisp mat of remains, was a tiny green crozier, then another, and another, and from this, I take heart, because I feel rather like this despondent little plant at the moment. 

There it is, in that gentlest sprout of green, the proof of its will and the promise of its future.

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