Friday, October 19, 2012

How could it stay a bad day when an Opuntia “Boxing Gloves” shows up on the back doorstep?

I was having one of those less than fabulous days; you know the ones where you wish you could have just stayed in bed? As is typical in these situations there were many small things that added up to an overwhelming feeling of gloom. I won’t lie; the weather figured large. The sunny days were about to come to an abrupt end and the rains were predicted to return in force. I was blue.

As I eased my car into its usual parking spot at the end of our drive my eyes fixed upon our back doorstep. And there, in the sun, were a couple of new plants! All of a sudden the day was looking up…

There was no note but I deducted a small clue. The box and tissue around the Opuntia looked familiar, like what I typically got when buying a plant or flowers from our neighborhood New Seasons Market. Uhm let’s have a look…

Opuntia “Boxing Gloves”…oh ya!

Just look at it, tough!

And look at this Euphorbia tirucalli, it’s obviously been loved by someone, but what is it doing here, on my back doorstep?

I followed up on my hunch, based on the New Seasons clue, and tracked the plants to my neighbor Bridget (she’s a floral dept mgr there). Sure enough she confessed she was the “Planta Claus.” The Opuntia was a gift from her; the Euphorbia was from a coworker who asked that she pass it on to me knowing I would care for it over the cold, wet and dark winter months ahead. The irony was not lost on me, as I had just declared in a post a couple of days before that I thought I might let my Euphorbia tirucalli freeze and die, rather than dig it up and overwinter it. Shortly after that post went up I read Alan’s ode to his beautiful Fire Sticks on Its Not Work It’s Gardening...and now this! The universe is obviously telling me something. I’ll be digging and over wintering mine now too, how could I not? I’ve been inspired by kindness.

33 comments:

  1. There is nothing like a nice surprise delivery to clear away those winter blues. Love the little boxing opuntia

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  2. How kind of Bridget and her coworker! Nothing cheers up a plant geek like an unexpected gift of plants :-).

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    1. And my husband says shopping for me is difficult!

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  3. Gosh, it's like a big hug from the universe! Yea! You know, when I'm feeling blue, I've found that if I remove the plastic bag from my head, my regular coloration returns fairly quickly. Just a thought:)

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    1. That paints such an interesting picture...

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  4. That is a most wonderful tale of happiness!!!! Planta Claus rocks!!!! Don't be too hard on yourself for weather blues.

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    1. It probably is a good thing that you and I don't live in the same city. We'd get together and commiserate about the winter weather too often...

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  5. Awww, what a great pick-me-up! That Bridget sounds like a peach of a neighbor. Totally cool opuntia, too!

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    1. She is! And I took pictures of her garden last week too...can't wait to share them!

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  6. Nothing like new plants to banish the blues away :)

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    1. Most certainly...aren't we lucky to love something so simple as a small plant?

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  7. Loree, lovely little surprise, the opuntia is a real head turner too as is the euphorbia. take that bad day!! :)

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    1. Pow! (I love it's expressive pose)

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  8. How cute and so sweet that it knocked your bad day right out. I had no idea there were so many opuntias.

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    1. It's amazing Shirley...I once thought there was only the regular old Opuntia pads you see in the SW landscape but there are so many...it's fabulous!

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  9. Now if you are going to let that Fire Stick out to die, it can come live at the Death Valley Shack.

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    1. Have you successfully over-wintered them before? I've got two that I got cheaply and planted in the ground...I'll be digging them both up now and they'll join this one. Do you have any helpful tips for me?

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  10. What a sweet and wonderful little surprise! I have to say I guffawed quite loudly when I saw the cartoon words of the Opuntia.

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    1. But doesn't it just look like that's what he's saying?

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  11. Barbara DarvalOctober 19, 2012

    Yes, she is quite the neighbor. She 's also my daughter and a very lovely person. We share a love of plants, animals and the great outdoors and I 'm blessed to have her in my life.

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    1. I saw the plants long before I ever met Bridget...just knowing that a gardener moved in to the neighborhood had me happy, but yes, getting to know her has been wonderful.

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  12. Wonderful, I love surprises that lift the spirits. Nothing like a new plant and kind thoughts to send the blues away

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    1. We're easy marks aren't we? Us gardeners I mean...

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  13. What a wonderful surprise! Love the 'boxing gloves'! And it has a rather charming and funny personality, too!

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    1. Personality is the prefect word, that's exactly what it has!

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  14. Planta Claus...I love it! Maybe it's you I should send my Agaves to for the winter...:).

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    1. While I appreciate the vote of confidence I think they'd be much happier with Denise!

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  15. dangerouser and dangeruser

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  16. Loree, I'm so glad to see how happy these gifts made you, and to have been a part of it! I'm also flattered to be mentioned here.

    First of all, I LOVE the Opuntia (and I love how if you say it right, it sounds a little bit like "I'll punch-ya!" hah!). Second, let me tell you more about the Fire Sticks: They are two little cuttings from a much larger plant that belongs to my aunt and uncle who live in Irvine, California. They have lived in their home for about 20 years, and take great pride in their lovely garden. Every time I visit, I can't wait to sit outside to enjoy the space they have built and cultivated. During my last visit in May, I decided to take some of their garden home with me. So I stowed the two Euphorbia cuttings and a couple of Staghorn Fern babies in my luggage (shhhh!). When I got home, I affixed the Staghorns to a salvaged board and stuck the Fire Sticks (dipped in a little rooting compound) into a pot. The Staghorn has grown very well, and will hopefully make the transition to indoor living for the winter, hanging near my one really good window. There is just the tiniest new growth on the Fire Sticks (wheeee!) since May, so I think that's a good sign that they want to survive.

    I live in a basement, so I don't know what I was thinking bringing the Fire Sticks into my life (I don't have much light, and not much room for overwintering plants). Except that I love bringing home living souvenirs (I'm very sentimental) or anything with a story. Bridget turned me on to your blog, and she talks about you a lot, so it made sense that my little stowaway cuttings might find a home with a dangerous-plant lover :) I do hope you enjoy them, and that they grow happy and healthy for you. Like Alan says, they are interesting when small, but become impressive and wonderful as they grow larger. Thanks for inspiring us all with your garden!

    -Libby ("the coworker")

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    1. Libby I'm so glad you commented, thank you for the back-story on the Euphorbia, that makes it even more special! You've got talent to have taken a cutting and had it take hold! I've tried that more than once with that plant and failed miserably. How large is your aunt and uncles plant? I saw one in Fillmore, CA, last spring that was as tall as my house!

      Hope to meet you sometime at New Seasons...I'll be asking everyone if their name is Libby!

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  17. Hello..Danger Garden.. I really amazed that kind of cactus the boxing gloves..maybe great name for that is Pacman Gloves and it doesn't seems to be dangerous.. but its cute..


    Online Plant Nursery

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