Friday, 19 December 2014

'Ello Vera! A housewarming gift

Unfortunately this is not a post about a lady named Vera. It is however a quick post about the little present I put together for our friends who have just moved house. The question was: what to get them as a housewarming gift...?

SBB suggested a bottle of wine but I don't drink and, as he wasn't around to advise me, I decided against it. The other option was a plant. Now, I'm not very green-fingered. In fact, SBB calls our house 'The Place That Plants Come to Die'. Charming.

However, having said that there is one thing that I've been able to keep alive for years and that is a little dude which has come to be known as Lazarus.

I've had him (I don't know why it's a 'he') for about 9 years. My Nan gave him to me to take to uni and he has so far survived long periods of drought when I left him in my room over the holidays, even longer periods of drought when I moved in with SBB and he sat neglected on the kitchen window sill (the plant that is, not SBB), over watering when I finally remembered him and last but not least a winter outside. He also survived many years in a pot that was too small and the traumatic re-potting when I finally got round to it.

I left him outside (should it still be just a 'he' if there ended up being more than one plant? I'm getting confused) last winter and the green leaves withered. Sad face. I thought I'd killed my aloe vera plant. My Nan was disappointed every time she forgot what had happened to the plant and asked me about it and everyone else was incredulous that I'd managed to kill off and aloe vera - one of the hardiest plants around, so they said.

What can I say - it's a special gift.

So, you can imagine my delight when lovely new baby green shoots appeared in the spring. And so Lazarus was named. Even though there's more than one of him. Them. Arrgh.

I popped into B&Q and picked up this little pot which is so lovely I may have to go and buy one for myself so I can buy a new plant to kill off gently nurture.

Re-potting/moving plants seems to be what I'm worst at and I was really worried that I'd kill all the plants off when re-homing them. But I carefully loosened the plants from their pots - I put everything in a large bucket as I'd used up all my all-purpose soil doing the bush beds last year.

I put a couple of stones for drainage in the bottom of each plastic pot and then repacked the soil, leaving a hole for the plants and then topping up with soil.

After planting (and wiping excess soil off the pot) I decided that the soil looked a little bare. B&Q didn't have any small packs of decorative stones but luckily we had some put down this summer so I popped outside to cherry-pick some of the prettiest ones.

I'm rather pleased with the outcome:

The other weekend while SBB was working I went out to dinner with my family to a place called Seven in Shorwell.

Nan had brought me a new aloe vera plant - which I think may have grown from an offcut of Lazarus - she handed it to me and told me not to kill off this one. I made no promises.

I wasn't too keen on the pot (pink plastic with white clouds) so I popped it into this one that had previously housed a Lazarus-baby. The hedgehog came from Nan - isn't he cute?

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