Monday, April 18, 2005

Potting soil

The two Geranium pots by my front door have caused me (I hate to admit it…) years of low grade frustration. My concept is to have two spots of red framing the door. I’m striving for a pure red, not the pinkish/purplish red that’s more common. The only practical flower that can answer this requirement is your basic, run-of-the-mill, non genetically-altered, non-hybrid geranium. Which of course is the most difficult to find. But I found it. That’s not my problem. The problem is this – that my geraniums have been over-run by pests that specifically eat the flower buds before they open. It’s an ongoing cycle. I spray my geraniums with insecticide (I’ve gotten progressively more vicious over time)… when I think they’re pest free, I give them generous amounts of plant food. Within a couple of weeks a multitude of flower buds appear. I spray some more. They start flowering. They’re beautiful. Then I let down my guard – i.e., stop spraying – and within a few weeks my geraniums are a mess of unfulfilled flowering potential. It’s bad Feng Shui, I believe, to have pest-ridden flowers by your front door…

A few weeks ago I decided that a fresh start was needed. Maybe an expert could have salvaged my flowers, but I was certainly not up to the task. I emptied my pots completely – no flowers, no soil - and went to the nursery to get new Geraniums.

Of course, they had every shade of pink. But no red. Red will come next week, they promise me. To avoid feeling like I’d totally wasted my time, I decided to buy the potting soil – the first step in the re-invention of my front-door flower pots.

A heavy-set young man came around to help me. Which potting soil do I want? They have two types. The cheap type, and the more expensive type. But the more expensive type is just $2 more per bag, he explains. How much is the cheap bag? He doesn’t know. What’s the difference? Well, the expensive one is all organic, no artificial ingredients, all natural. Hmmm. Do I really care if my geraniums eat organic? All I really want is for them to be pest free. Would I be contaminating my environment with non-organic potting soil? I don’t think so. It’ll all be contained in my pot…

I opted for the cheap type. Mr. Heavy-set came over to load the bags into my car. I was wearing my new skirt – one of my latest acquisitions from Israel – pre-crinkled fabric, seems like the latest fashion…

“Can I ask you where you got your skirt?”, he says. “I want to get my mother one of those”

Should I be offended? I’m not sure. “In Israel” I say.

“Oh”, he says, “do you think I could get it in London or in Paris?”

I can’t figure out where he’s going with this.

“I don’t know” I say, “I got it in Israel.”

“Do you think I could get it on Melrose or on Rodeo Drive?”

“I’m sure you could get something like it on Melrose, I don’t know about Rodeo Drive.” I smile, shut my trunk, and leave.

What was that conversation all about? Could someone please explain?


Post a Comment

<< Home