My mother, the pot stager

I know what you might be thinking… but I am not talking about that kind of pot. My mom had no idea what pot smelled like until I pointed it out to her one day on the street in Seattle. “That bizarre burning dirt weird smell, that’s pot, Mom”. My mother used to call herself the “kebon” which is a Bahasa Indonesia word for a young man who works in the gardens. She would often tell me that if I didn’t treat her better, she would file a complaint with the Kebon Union against me. These complaints always had to do with the garden. My mom could spend days looking at plants, visualizing combinations in her head. And when she finally committed to buying them, you would think they would get transplanted right away. No way. Then came the next step, the Pot Staging. My mom would arrange the plants in their original containers in their (potential) new pot. And they would have to stay there for at least a week. During that time, she would rearrange them, recombine them, change pots, you name it. Sometimes I would have to threaten to plant them myself before they would exit the Pot Stage. My mom could see what she wanted, she was a great visualizer. However, she was reluctant to commit them to being transplanted until she knew they were going to blend together exactly as she wanted. And yeah, she made beautiful arrangements. Eventually.

Her pots and various remnants of those arrangements are mostly in Lawyerella’s yard. I couldn’t bear to throw them out and I couldn’t bring myself to empty the pots and ship them so I filled the Vanagon full before it went to Cedric and “staged” them at Lawyerella’s.

Today I went to Intratuin after my long customer meeting. And I went a little crazy. I needed some hanging planters to hang from the walls and plants to go in them. Of course, I also needed dirt and some garden tools and an outdoor basket for the boys so they can work on their tans. And most importantly, I needed outdoor cushions for the big benches so I can have my office outside in the good weather. Tonight, after my last set of conference calls, I went to work with a vengeance. I planted all my plants, no staging, straight to done mode. While I was in efficiency mode, I could hear my mom telling me that combination wasn’t big enough for the planter and I should add some more plants and let it sit for a few days. But once I got started, I couldn’t stop. It is kind of fear thing, I just have to keep going. If I stop and think about the plants not being in the right combination, I wouldn’t do it at all. In honor of my mom, I also planted some lupines, which she loved. I have the seeds that she saved from her favorites, but I am waiting to plant those when I am somewhere more permanently.

I was completely overstimulated in the Intratuin. I could have bought another cart full. But I reminded myself that I couldn’t get it all back here in one run. And I didn’t even look at the indoor plants, just forced myself to walk on through. Pretty much every plant I bought is either blue, purple or orange or some combination thereof. Tomorrow I will clean up the hydrangeas by the front door and see if I can’t bring them back to life a little. I missed my mom in the Intratuin. Especially since everybody seemed to be there with somebody. I had coffee in the middle of my trek in their café. If my mom had been with me, well, we’d probably still be there.


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