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It’s Execution Week!

June 29, 2012

Last week was the big summer sale at work. At the end of the week, we ordered a skip, and this week, whatever doesn’t sell any more has to “walk the plank”.

I think we didn’t do too badly this year. OK, nobody wants ornamental tobacco (so we’ll probably not grow that next year), and there were some tomatoes and peppers left, plenty of ivy-leaf pelargoniums (because our order got messed up and we got too many red ones), but I think we had to throw out more last year. The skip is still full, but that’s because our entire compost heap from the past seven months or so is in it as well.

I got to chuck wax begonias today, muahahaha! Not all of them, but at least some. So satisfying – I hate wax begonias.

The “battlefield”:

At home, I continued the executions:

The first was the pink Gerbera that I got for my birthday. I got fed up with how much water/attention it needed, and I couldn’t see any new buds coming up, so I stopped watering it and let it die.

The Cyperus cuttings, on the other hand, dried out by accident… oops. Ah well – it’s not like I needed them, and half of them did find a new home with a forum acquaintance in Germany before  this happened.

The Epipremnum aureum ‘N’Joy’  – it was thirsty when I took the picture, but it always stayed wet too long, and stem after stem rotted out. And since I never really liked it much in the first place, off into the bin it goes.

The mildew-monster, a.k.a. Cissus rhombifolia – I cut it back and sprayed it with horsetail infusion several times, but I lost patience with it when I found I could replace it more easily than I’d thought.

(Sorry, the picture turned out blurry – but there’s not much to see anyway.)

The Asparagus densiflorus – which I never really wanted anyway, I only “had to” try whether I could grow one from seed. Like we didn’t grow them at the apprenticeship place!

Look at the size of the thing  – that’s still the 4.5 cm pot I started the seeds in over a year ago. I bet it’s an invasive weed somewhere!

The stupid Streptocarpus that bloomed for maybe three days after I brought it home, and never rebloomed. The leaves aren’t that impressive, either, and in any case, I prefer upright plants that’ll grow tall and fight for visibility on a crowded windowsill. Plants that stay as low as this and take up a lot of horizontal space aren’t welcome in the Nettle Nest, unless they’re easily propagated and sold.

I’ve come to intensely dislike Streptocarpus in general, not just my personal plant. For the last couple of weeks, blue Streptocarpus were pretty much the only flowering houseplants that were available at the wholesalers’, so we had a lot of them in the shop. Like mine, they didn’t bother to grow more flowers, and unlike mine, the leaves also got uglier and uglier. Earlier this week, the boss finally managed to find some different blooming plants, so I went on a killing spree in the shop as well, and threw out Streptocarpuses by the bucketful.

Speaking of killing sprees, a funny moment from Monday: I was standing in our outdoor sales area, with a wheelbarrow next to me, throwing away all those dreadfully leggy, flopped-over, starved-looking tomato plants. One of our regular customers drives up, parks, gets out of his car and asks me, “Oh, what is my flower fairy doing today?”

“The flower fairy is an angel of death today!” I replied – might have been with a slightly insane grin.

Anyway, the last of my victims today: Ludisia discolor. I should know better than to buy orchids – at least I had the sense to buy it when it was marked down, because we’ve never really gotten along.

On one hand, it’s so incredibly satisfying to say, “enough!” and throw them out – I’ve threatened them with it often enough.

But on the other hand, I always feel bad about it too. I mean, these are living creatures that I’m killing, for no other crime than being unhappy. Imagine if we told people, “you’re depressed, so you will be shot.” But… I simply don’t have have the space or energy to deal with them any more. And I console myself with the fact that at least we have an organic waste bin now, so they’ll at least be composted. I’d prefer to do it myself, but as you know, I don’t have a garden where I could put a compost bin, and I’m too lazy to deal with vermicomposting.

The other thing that makes me feel bad is, “But I spent money on it! How can I throw it away?” But it helps a little to remember a line I read somewhere a while ago – can’t remember where, so I’m paraphrasing: “It was a waste of money when you bought it. Throwing it away now doesn’t make it any more of a waste of money.”  I suppose it’s true – and to keep these plants and give them more water and fertilizer while constantly feeling frustrated about how they’re behaving would be throwing good money after bad.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 29, 2012 23:43

    My mother and grandmother were always ruthless about ditching plants that weren’t doing well, cutting back plants that needed it, etc. I learned that from them. So you’re definitely doing the right thing.

    But that quote–OMG, does somebody in my house need that. (Okay, both somebodies in my house.) Thanks for sharing!

    I’ll be in Harvest Monday again next week. Can’t wait!

    • July 4, 2012 07:03

      I don’t know how your comment ended up in the spam folder – sorry! Lucky I found it!


  1. Yes, Of Course I Needed More! « Letters & Leaves

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