Garden in Distress

Garden in Distress
Fecha de publicación: 
18 September 2023
Imagen principal: 

Plants are really beautiful, but sometimes how difficult it’s to understand them! Too much water, little water, intense sun  exposure or at a shade, either compost and fertilizer so that they are beautiful and healthy, but not too much because they suffocate, and the pests!

It’s true that being a gardener is more than complicated, and the will alone is not enough. Sometimes I believe I am the killer of chlorophyll, without empathy to understand them, because if they need little water, sometimes I water them too little and kill them of thirst, or on the contrary, I send the others to the afterlife of plants because with them I relieve the need to water them plenty.

The point is, I can't find a middle ground. How delicate they are! Even the Sansevieria has died on me, which is almost made of foam and grows wild in the most neglected patches of soil, resistant to carbon monoxide, stomping, fecal feces, cat scratches, 40 degrees in summer, intense October rains and the drought of the beginning of the year. They said it's for beginners, almost indestructible, they said, because it doesn't require so much care and can withstand any environment. Mine is withering.

My clinical eye also fails me because I don't realize in time that they have cottony mealybugs in spring, and when I discover them, the poor things no longer have sap left to live —and I care for them so much!—, although from this slip I can blame my growing myopia.

Sometimes, when I ignore or forget them on purpose because I think they are dying and hopeless, they, in an act of complete resilience, as if to show that they are stronger than me when it comes to withstand and survive, all at once overnight I find even flowers, living I don't know how without watering or enough light. So I think I'm superstitious and I don't even want to look at them straight, I pretend I don't know, so they don't feel pressured and stay there, alive.

I strive to follow instructions to the letter. I visit online forums and WhatsApp groups, I don't interact much, but I read and download apps that they suggest, like Pictures This.

I study, I look for their scientific names, I watch the substrate, the hours at the sun, I count the days to water them and sometimes I shelter them from heavy rains. And they, so capricious, sometimes I think they ask me to move them because they don't like where they are, like an African violet that I had full of beautiful flowers in winter, and with the first 30 degrees I was about the house looking for a spot of her liking, until she decided to die straight away.

It’s difficult to find that exact point. I can't say how many times I've told myself: no more, of course I can't handle all of them, but I'm stubborn, I want to show myself that I can do it, if I can handle more of this cruel world.

And so I’m now cutting up a very expensive Crassula Ovata —commonly jade— that I bought four months ago in the last corner of the world, and whom I check all the time like a newborn baby because this is my fourth attempt since 2019, and I don't want to fail. The previous three died on me, and this one has already lost four leaves and its color is changing.

It worries me. I search on the Internet and everything is so ambiguous, that I’m about to lose my atheism, learn to cross myself and ask the most holy photosynthesis to save my jade plant this time because there’s no fortune nor nostalgia that can bear one more failure to see my yellow pot empty.

However, I’m not defeated. Just in case, I will contact the Guanabacoa garden, the only place you can find them, to evaluate the price of the home to Playa, and start saving because my faith is running out, although deep down I’m looking for a miracle of the divine green providence. Amen.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.