Wednesday, July 13, 2011

When Hibiscus Attack

A beautiful hibiscus bloom.
Several years ago my mom got two hibiscus trees for her front stoop.  They were beautiful.  I was in love with their waxy green leaves and brilliant pink blooms.  I dreamed that someday I'd have a house where I could have two trees of my very own.

We looked at a lot of houses on the road to finding our home.  Each one was assessed for the usual things, plus the added criteria:  where will I put my hibiscus?

It was a great day when I got to go to Costco and bring home my dream plants.  I laid them in the front seat of my Corolla.  They made the trip home and looked spectacular on either side of my front door.

Then the weather changed and I had to bring the big pots inside.  I lined the floor with an old vinyl tablecloth.  Weeks later when the hibiscus could go back outside, I realized the pots had leaked and buckled the laminate flooring.

Tim lost all warm feelings toward my trees.

I was apparently still in need of more flowery punishment.  Every time it storms the things blow over. I've gone out to stand them up many times. More than once they've blown off the stoop entirely. They've always been unharmed though just a little annoying.

Then on the eve of our vacation we had a bit of wind.  I went out to stand the trees back up and found both clay pots shattered.  Just what I wanted to clean up before vacation!

I picked up a big jagged shard of clay pot.  It pulled away from the rest of the broken carcass a bit easier than expected and somehow flipped over and slit my wrist.  Blood was slow to come and I sat back to apply pressure.  I looked at all of the veins in my arm and figured I'd be losing consciousness soon.

I feebly went to my husband's office and asked for help.  It's just what he wanted to do right before vacation!

My injury wasn't as horrible as I'd feared.  I even managed to keep my wound from getting infected while it healed.  We had two Styrofoam pots that the hibiscus could be jammed into so we could leave them in the care of our neighbors.

After five nights away we came home to find our trees braced with patio furniture.  They were even worse at standing up in the lighter pots.  It was at this moment I realized what a pain these plants have been.

I ruined the floor over them.  I spend a week mindful of redness and applying Neosporin because of them.  I carefully put 2 gallons of water on them every morning to weigh them down and keep them standing up.  Was this my dream?

Perhaps it was, these are some gorgeous hibiscus.