Expat Life / General / Writing

The Trophy That Are My Hydrangeas

Really, a sub-header to this post could be, “My Dead Hydrangeas and What They Mean,” but I figured that such a title would be too off-putting.

Still with me? Crazy Lady took a moment to reflect yesterday. A family that is interested in renting our house asked if the garden would be cleaned up before they moved in. It was embarrassing, since we’ve been all worried and fussing if we’d find the right tenant who would take good care of our house. Meanwhile, our gardener stopped showing up several months ago, and my husband and I devoted a whole one and a half afternoons since then to mow grass and weed. Meanwhile, yes, you might have guessed, some plants have suffered, pesky dandelions are still rooted and the piles of weeds that I wanted to dispose of are still strewn in odd corners of our garden thanks to my son.

As for those poor suffering plants, it started last summer when we didn’t realise we should be watering our garden during a hot spell. In San Diego, we, spoiled, privileged expat Americans, had programmed irrigation systems and gardeners who made sure that everything was being watered and plants and grass would flourish no matter what the drought conditions were. (Note: We were renting. Personally, I would have stuck to a succulent-heavy, pebble-based garden that needed very little water in the desert and would have been harder for me to kill.) Well, some of the hydrangeas in the front of our house apparently felt that they had been subjected to desert like conditions and have not bounced back.

Those poor plants have been on my list of low grade stress sources. Do something about those hydrangeas. And I was wondering, how did this happen? What have I been doing? You’re at home all day. How could you have let them die? And then I realised, um, hello, you were writing a children’s book manuscript for which you’re looking for an agent. On top of that, you’ve been editing a book that is being published this year.

The message: Crazy Lady, be kind to Crazy Lady. Look at those dead hydrangeas as a trophy of your achievements.

The hydrangeas on the other side are doing much better. Less direct sunlight.

The hydrangeas on the other side are doing much better. Less direct sunlight.


3 thoughts on “The Trophy That Are My Hydrangeas

  1. Hi Jane! When I was a kid and someone brought a plant to my house I used to say: “It has come to find death here too”….my mom used to be so embarrassed about it! But she couldn’t reply as all her plants turned up dead in a couple of weeks (all her thumbs must be black). So in the end she bought plastic plants and now they are all dusty. Moral of the story: for some people there is no solution. For others is to hire another gardener πŸ˜‰
    Have a nice day


    • Hello, Laura! Sadly, I have often felt that a plant gift in my house had a certain death sentence. Orchids have a high likelihood of survival at least! I have vowed though that in my new house, I will become a better gardener. Just not at the cost of my writing. πŸ˜‰


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