Mom’s ferns flourished. The one I brought from her plant room has not.
I like this canary plant pal.
In spring 2007, when I left Mom’s house for the last time, I latched the plant pal onto the rim of one of Mom’s asparagus ferns and brought the pot home with me.
Eight years later, the canary is the only life-affirming thing about my fern.
Under my care, this plant has failed to thrive.
Last week, while pruning other plants, I walked over to the fern and cut off one of its few shoots.
I can’t explain that. Maybe I’m mad at it. It should try harder.
The shoot I cut off is now out on the compost heap. I’ll show it to you while I can, before it shrivels up.
The asparagus fern is the spiky shoot under the pothos leaves.
An asparagus fern shows it’s happy by producing white, star-shaped flowers and little red berries. Mom used to plant the berries in potting soil to start a new fern. She’d cut a one-gallon plastic milk jug in half, fill it with potting soil, water the soil and bury a moistened fern-berry deep.
The berries produced. All over her plant room were healthy baby ferns.
She grew six giant ferns and named them after her kids – Christie, Laurel, Terrel, Tracey, Barry and Hollyns. Twice a year she paid Randy, her handyman, to move these behemoths across North Dallas.
In spring, he moved Christie, Laurel, Terrel, Tracey, Barry and Hollyns to the patio at the First Unitarian Church, where they spent time until the fall. Then, he trucked them back to Mom’s plant room, for the winter.
Of all the nice things people have done for me, Mom’s naming a thriving asparagus fern for me is one I like best.
Mom and one of the six ferns at church.
Here in Colorado, I think my main problem is that I don’t live in the right plant zone to grow asparagus ferns.
But neither does my sister Christie, in Connecticut. And here’s what hers looked like when I visited last May.
Looking down into Christie’s ferns, you see this.
Looking down into mine, this.
Here is my asparagus fern.