Thirty Days in the Garden: Spider Plants and Bloggers

Once upon a time, I hung three spider plants in baskets under the eaves of the house. Our boys were young, so I needed something low-maintenance and green. I enjoyed watching the spider plant flower, then send out off-spring like runners on a strawberry plant.

Mourning Doves
Nesting Mourning Dove

One spring, a mourning dove took up residence and built a nest in one of the plants. We couldn’t believe our luck! We could watch nesting activity from our living room window without disturbing the occupants.

Within two weeks, I noticed that mama dove sat higher on the nest. Shortly after, a pair of young ones fledged.

Mourning doves spend a lot of time on the ground, which is nerve-wracking when you have cats. When the fledglings first left the nest, they spent time in the back garden. Not realizing they were spending time in the garden, we sat outside to eat lunch on a warm day. A distressed mama kept flying low and away, low and away. She didn’t want us there. We eventually spotted the young ones and went inside.

Spider plant camouflaging the back-end of a squirrel

A few months later, we started a long-planned remodel on the back of the house. All three pots had to come down. They limped along for a while, but the house remodel dragged on for nine months. At some point, I unceremoniously dumped one out of the containers in an area I refer to as the back 40. It’s sink or swim back there, where sadly some plants go to die. Not the spider plants.

Spider plants don’t mind all those pine needles
One becomes many

They swam! One spider plant became many. The first plant set roots on the spot, then propagated under the tree and along the fence. They’ve filled the garden beds with a lush and lovely shade of green. They feel like an old friend.

Spider plants and blogging have a lot in common. You start with one, but you quickly follow many. In the early days, you’re happy that anyone wants to read your posts. You follow bloggers, they follow you, and before you know it, you’ve found a community. You find yourself moving from “don’t trust anyone on the internet!” to “I’m flying to New Zealand for two weeks to spend time with my blogging tribe.” It’s extraordinary.

I’ve missed this blogging space. Last month I embarked on a thirty-day journey back to blogging. I posted every day for thirty days in a series I called Thirty Days in the Garden. Today I’m publishing my thirtieth post.

Thank you for reading and commenting on WordPress or through Facebook. Thank you to the readers who lurk. I know you’re out there, and I hope that one day you’ll leave that comment that’s rattling around in your head. It will be good to hear from you, too.

Spider Plant Sprawl

Spider Plant Sprawl

One by one, the root-bound spider plants relocated to the fence line.  We jokingly refer to that area of the garden as the back-forty.  It’s also where big, hairy spiders go, so they can do their garden business without scaring me on my daily rounds.

The back-forty is a transitional home for plants who’ve outgrown their pots but don’t currently have a good place to go.  One of the potted spider plants sheltered a nest of mourning doves one year.  Eventually the pot was too crowded for a nest or a plant. Time to visit the back-forty.  Sometimes I empty a bit of soil left in a pot, and a forgotten bulb rolls out.  I give it a toss into the mix  and carry on with my gardening chores.  It’s every plant for herself back there: find a place to put down your roots, or move over for the next plant.  Since nothing that we’ve purposefully planted under the pine tree lives for very long, I’m hoping my stealth plan takes root.

Two spider plants and an asparagus fern have been up to the challenge so far.  The acidic soil and shade agrees with them and they seem impervious to a steady shower of pine-needles.  At the rate they are multiplying, the back-forty relocation plan is looking like a success. Gardeners know that hope springs eternal or perhaps it’s spring that brings eternal hope.

Asparagus Fern Spider Plant Tango

Mourning Doves