I went food shopping today. FOOD, processed and rootless, or at least very definitely soil-less. And then I ran into the terrible challenge that Landkrauter might call the plant bargain bin syndrome.
This is how it goes: You are in a supermarket, compliantly ticking items off your list. On the other hand, if you are like me, you write the list by hand, which is illegible, so you type it into ziplist. You then delegate printing to significant other, who doesn’t realise it’s their job to print it, and so when you end up in the shop, neither of you has a list and you end up shopping the old fashioned way (minus a list). You buy whatever looks nice and has colourful labels, or looks nice and interesting and you’ve always wanted to try, or is plain weird and sparks your curiosity. You manage to talk yourself out of the fat-free, sugar-free chocolate pudding that reminds you of Jell-O, and the US summer but end up falling for 4 cm diameter rice paper disks for baking. In addition you buy a glass of lemon curd, because it’s there, and because you can, and who knows, although you haven’t made lemon meringue pie ever, you might want to some day, maybe soon, and so it’s good to own a jar…..
Yes, I know……
And while you are walking up and down the shelves wondering what else you might need, and whether the interestingly priced champagne, that someone recommended you try, might indeed be any good, you run into the plant addict’s challenge. Most supermarkets sell flowers, and in the summer they also often sell herbs in pots. The herbs are usually of inferior quality, having been in the dark too long and over-watered and thus are risk of fungus gnats. It’s easy to say no to such a plant. However, the discounters often get in specials – a once only shipment of plants, and these are placed strategically close to the fresh produce section. Where, I might add, you are absolutely allowed to be, you have a good reason for it even, and you are NOT there because there are plants there, no indeed.
But through no fault of your own suddenly you are confronted by a large rack full of plants. In today’s case yellow foxgloves, and apricot coloured roses and many coloured hollyhocks all just sitting there, looking healthy and vigorous and on offer for 1/4 of the price of a starbuck’s small latte….And you cannot help thinking that you should be able to find a spot for a yellow foxglove and another rose somewhere in nematode-land…….Until suddenly your day dream is shattered by the Voice of Reason…. In brief – I wasn’t allowed. My suggestions to buy vicariously for aunties, uncles, sisters the neighbour’s cat, you get the picture, were also refused. The fact that cut flowers cost much more and give less pleasure had as little effect as the information that, at the price of 1/4 of a starbuck’s latte , we couldn’t just leave them behind. Could we? It seems we could.
Cruel, very cruel. I thought, I was quite upset, well not really, but a bit. It just seemed a wasted opportunity. Luckily, a saner part of my mind was still online and so I meekly walked away. Now, back at home, far from the plant-siren’s dulcet tunes – I realise that the boat is full, so to speak, I haven’t a single spot left on the balcony for a rose or a foxglove, both plants that need a bit of space. Nary a one. There are in fact still some poor homeless wretches out there awaiting a pot, a stroke of genius ( ie WHERE do I plant you?) and a final destination.