Ferns Unfold

As August unfolds, so too do the Ferns

I’ve always had an affinity for ferns. One of the first house plants to grace my home at the age of 16 was an Asparagus Plumosa. We lived in a two-bedroom apartment with no place to garden, so my mother let me keep a dozen houseplants on a stand just inside our front door. She once told me I handled the plants in the same manner as my deceased, horticulturist father. What a compliment!

My transient lifestyle continued well into my thirties as apartments and room-rentals came and went, but the houseplants always followed. In 1988 I bought two small ferns for $1.79 and planted them in a pot next to my bed. I traveled to Europe and back, leaving them in the care of a good friend. In 1989 they moved from Campbell to San Jose; then back to Campbell for a spell. I married and moved to Fremont for a year before we bought our home in 1996 in San Jose. By now they were a tangled twosome, bursting from a heavy pot, filled with thorns and in desperate need of a transplant, but they continued to climb and grow. At last liberated from their pot, they were free to spread along the back fence of our garden. They shelter cats in the heat of the summer and shade the occasional lizard. When I’m lucky enough to have some cutting flowers I add some feathery ferns to the bouquet. When my back is turned they twine around the fruit tree and climb through the fence. I brave the thorns to tame the wild beast, nursing nicks and cuts for a week. All relationships have their ups and and downs. But after 23 years, I would say that we are in it for the long haul. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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