I enjoy gardens but I am not a gardener. When I saw that this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge was Growth, I immediately thought that I should look for one of my many photographs of flowers, or maybe some of the early Spring shots I have shot of emerging buds. Growth to me is most noticeable in the natural world even though that is where we can so easily overlook it.
Last year a friend of mine began posting updates on Facebook of her ready to open Night-blooming Cereus. Only blooming for one night, the beautiful flower is not to be missed. My friend, a confirmed early-to-bed person, stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to see the bloom. I was awed by the photographs she took. Several months later she said that she had a few cuttings from the plant. It was very cold and I knew that I wouldn’t have time to plant it. Don’t worry, she said. It can keep in water for months! I took the plant start home and placed it on a shelf — and then forgot about it for weeks.
Water evaporates and while the roots were still wet, a lot of water was gone. I filled up the jar and hoped that I hadn’t killed it. It seemed to hang on for a few weeks, and then it started to turn brown. In a few days I assumed it was dead. But I was hopeful, not so much because I wanted the plant, but because I felt that I had let me friend down, ignoring her gift until it was too late to plant.
About a week ago, my friend’s Night-Blooming Cereus was blooming again and she posted some photos of the gorgeous flower. I saw her the next day and decided that I had to ‘fess up to killing the start that she had given me.
Are the roots still wet? she asked.
Yes, I replied, but the leaves are dried and brown. I’m pretty certain that it is dead.
Get a small pot and plant it. It might be okay and you have nothing to lose.
I looked at the plant a few days later. The leaves are still brown, but there is a new shoot on the stem and another bit of green near the base of the plant. Growth. I think this thing wants to live. I will plant it tomorrow.
Be sure to visit the links of others participating in this week’s challenge. There are some amazing photographers who participate in this weekly challenge.