Botanical wills: Leaving leaves to your family

Green comfort—that’s what I call plants. Somehow, they soothe and make me as peaceful as an old nun. Maybe human love for plants comes from some tribal memory at work, something buried in the DNA, a smart something that equated plants with food, with survival itself.

Anyhow, plants just knock me out and I’d certainly like to pass a love of growing things down to my kids and grandkids. But I ‘d like to pass on more than a tradition of caring for plants. I’d like to pass down the plant itself…to make a botanical will.

What plant is passable to the next generation? A Christmas cactus comes to mind. They can get old and gnarled, just like people, but they keep on keeping on, blooming year  after year–again, just like people.

My friend, Fred, recently put himself into assisted living and passed on his Christmas cactus to me. It now lives in the window over my desk, to remind me that I need to keep blooming, year after year, no matter how old I get. Fred still blooms–especially when he laughs, and he’s in his 90’s.

I named the plant Fred The Cactus. Duh! Maybe I can think up something more catchy.

Its flowers are red and actually a bit confused, because they bloomed at Easter. I hope to pass Fred The Cactus or some of his cuttings down to a third generation.

Anyhow, here’s Fred, in his 95th year. Thank you, Fred.

One thought on “Botanical wills: Leaving leaves to your family”

  1. Your Fred is the handsomest 95-year-old I’ve ever seen. But where’s the photo of Fred the Cactus? Not necessary to save it for the Christmas card you’ll be sending. Today, July 24, pbs sent a program showing Julia making Bûche de Noel; welcome timing when the temperature is in the 90s. So: more Freds, please.

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