Gardening Magazine

A Return to the Plant-rescue Table

By Ozhene @papaver

Yes its that time of year again when I wander along to a local garden centre and peruse the 'rescue me' plant bargains.

Except this year I got more than I expected.

A return to the plant-rescue table

It started before I had got very far in the door, I saw this planter and thought 'that would look perfect with an apsidistra in it', I looked it over, chose the best one and put it to the back of the shelf to pick up on the way out (everyone does that - right?)

Then in we went to the houseplant section. This garden centre has, without doubt, one of the best houseplant sections I have ever been in. The 'rescue me' table is down at one end and on the way to get to it every plant has to be inspected and considered. There were oohs and ahhs. There were some very lovely plants. I was tempted by the strelitzias, some small and affordable some huge and more expensive. The huge ones were worth every penny as someone had done all the growing until it gets huge bit for you.

A return to the plant-rescue table

There was a whoop when I arrived at the rescue me table, there was this huge aspidistra elatior reduced from £34 to £10. I checked it over, it looked a little overwatered but nothing serious.

A return to the plant-rescue table

The leaves have a light speckling. I liked this. So I picked it up and hugged it whispering to it 'you're coming home with me'.

A return to the plant-rescue table

As we turned the corner there was a whole table of aspidistras. All looking wonderfully healthy and at a variety of sizes and prices. I was very impressed but clung on to my bargain.

A return to the plant-rescue table

We continued to peruse the tables and on looking up with saw a rather wonderful staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum). It was not wildly expensive, but we decided we would come back for that in the new year...... until I saw this baby one that jumped up and down and demanded to be bought. It felt rude not to. By this time I was already thinking I needed to fetch a basket, there was more being bought that I intended. This plant does require some care to keep alive. They need lots of drainage and it is easy to over water them. I am not confident I can look after it properly if I am honest with you, but time will tell.

A return to the plant-rescue table

The garden centre has tables and tables of poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima). I remember my mother buying them sometimes on the lead up to christmas, they always died. I saw them growing wild in Thailand where I suddenly appreciated that they are a very beautiful plant. They had never made much impression on me previously. I know that I do not really want to grow them as a house plant, I would prefer to see them in their majestic beauty in garden. Have no fear, I know this is not a realistic dream. It is a houseplant here and whilst I will try, I am not sure I can keep it alive. I know it does not like drafts or being too cold. I shall have to take care not to over or under water. Time (as ever) will tell.

A return to the plant-rescue table

Flossy inspected by purchases and seems to approve.

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