Pot luck

I had a brand new experience this week when I happened to catch the eye of a small cactus in my employ and realised that it needed to be repotted. Yes – repotted! Taken from its current pot and put into a bigger one! Because it’s doing so well! This is an extraordinary development. I’ve had dozens if not hundreds of house plants in my time and not one of them has lasted long enough to require relocation to a bigger gaff. The reason, no doubt, is that I have a tendency to plonk any new plant life on a shelf or window ledge and more or less leave it to its own devices. After a while – a few weeks, a month, two and a half years – I check on its progress and find it profoundly dead. At that point, I usually curse the thing for its lack of initiative (‘The tap’s only ten feet away, you know’) and bin it without further ceremony. I wouldn’t mind, but many of the fingers in my family are bright green. My late mother could make things grow by looking at them funny, whereas my previous best performance was the time I managed to cultivate some mold on a shower curtain. And that only survived because I didn’t have to consciously water it. Never mind. The slate has been wiped clean. I’m going shopping for a new cactus pot this very tomorrow. I’ll place it right next to the incumbent and, if I know anything about horticulture, my spiky friend will have grown into its spacious new house in no time at all.

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