I once had an acquaintance who came to my apartment, took a look around and said, “Don’t you have enough plants?”
After I picked myself up from the floor, I said, “I probably do, but I’m sure I’ll buy more.” This person never became a friend because her life philosophy was too cautious. In addition, she was very bossy and didn’t understand that home is the one place where a person can feel free to exercise a person’s particular brand of excess.
This incident came to mind when I spied a burro’s tail succulent (Sedum morganianum) crowded into a plastic box on the corner of Chris’ table. Chris is the plant man at my Sunday farmer’s market on West 77th Street and Columbus Avenue. The burro had many tails, most of which were exceedingly long, and his price for the hanging basket was a shockingly low at $10. I had to have it, and Chris’ wife was visibly relieved to have one less burro in the green house.
The Sweetie, who usually ends up being my own personal burro, carried the thing home awkwardly, providing us with the experience known to owners of dogs with unusual pedigrees: Many people stared in amusement and two guys stopped us to say they had a burro that dropped its leaves all over the place. An Hispanic pair of middle-aged ladies gave us the head’s up and we offered them a piece that had dropped off so they could start their own plant.
I decided to hang the basket from the shower rack, and now have to set aside a few extra minutes to gently move it aside to close the shower curtain. (It does drop leaves if one even sighs in its presence.) But it’s worth any bother: when I’m taking a bath, I feel like I’m in the hanging gardens of Babylon, considered one of the seven wonders of the world.
Note the dark leaves on the top center and bottom left: it’s gearing up to flower!