Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Cuttings of Swedish Ivy

What to do when you're snow-bound for the second time in a week?

I spent some time in my solarium with my houseplants, taking cuttings and generally cleaning up. Some annuals develop woody stems and sort of peter out. In addition to taking coleus cuttings and cutting the mother coleus back down to the dirt, i took cuttings from my variegated Swedish ivy. This is a lovely annual, good for bringing background interest to a flowerpot on the front step.

Like regular Swedish ivy, the stems become woody after a couple of seasons. It's time to root cuttings and start new plants. The old woody stems practically fell out of the dirt. They were done.

My 94-year-old neighbor, Esther, an inveterate gardener, was found dead in her driveway. Doubtless, she was on her way to do some good deed or other when her Subaru clonked out. She got out of the car, and her heart gave out. The heart that had a new (cow's) valve replaced 10 years ago. The heart that connected to so many people all over the world. Uprooted from the earth of her living so easily. Lying on the earth that she was always part of.

Her good deeds, small as they were, rippling out over the world, rooting now in other people's lives.

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