Saturday, October 13, 2007

Kalanchoe aurora borealis -- remembering my first plant

I had a very nice day on campus Friday, though it was a day that started out to be a real bear (too much to do, not enough time to prepare, one meeting after another, etc.). Each event went better than I had expected, but the real treat was that near the end of the day, in the midst of a hike across campus (the 40 acres, as it is called, spans 8 blocks from north to south currently, but is expanding across what used to be thought of as traditional barriers), I came upon a plant sale sponsored by the biology department.

The department has a greenhouse, and students nurture their projects there. As I looked over the selection, I recalled that nearly 35 years ago, 1971 to be exact, my (then) soon-to-be husband, John, brought home two little plants from the very same departmental sale, a begonia and a kalanchoe, and those two plants sparked a life-long love of gardening and growing houseplants. With as much as I love gardening today, it is hard to imagine that time before the kalanchoe and the begonia, or how two little 2" pots could so affect a life.

Well, I bought two plants from the students yesterday -- $1 each -- a kalanchoe (aurora borealis, pictured above) and a jade plant. Both were tiny, but huge in reminding me of how much pleasure can come from being introduced to something you don't yet know you'll love for the rest of your life. The two plants I bought yesterday will remind me again of how wonderful John was to give me those gifts.

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