Supermarket holiday plants are the bridesmaid dresses of the gardening world. Buyers convince themselves they can find a way to extend the item’s use beyond the event in question, but deep down, they know they’re looking at a one-hit wonder. Before relocating across the country, I finally accepted this on the fashion front, and donated my bridesmaid dresses (average age: 20 years) to be repurposed as prom dresses for girls in need. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when the lucky recipients got their first glimpses of those retro gems!
So when I was lured by the gorgeous color blooms of an Easter hydrangea from Save Mart last year, I went into it fully expecting a short-term commitment. But this didn’t stop me from giving the plant a shot at surviving, because what would be the harm in failing? So I put it outside and gave it the minimum required care. To my surprise, it didn’t drop dead, despite the heat of a NorCal summer. It overwintered beautifully, apparently a fan of El Nino-induced rains, and started growing like a weed when spring came. Imagine my astonishment and delight this past week when I noticed multiple buds.
OK, so by now, you’re probably wondering what on earth Easter hydrangea buds have to do with money. For this, I circle back to my recent post about delaying purchases on account of the Transaction Cleanse I’m participating in. I concluded “no harm done” in most cases, and maybe benefits in some, especially for items that constitute a “want,” not a “need.”
Here is the exception. I need to buy this baby hydrangea a bigger pot ASAP if it is to continue to thrive. And I really, really want it to thrive. I can’t tell you why exactly, but I think it has something to do with the “against all odds” nature of the effort. It also has something to do with growing up near Cape Cod. During summer, my favorite season, the landscape was absolutely teeming with these incredible blue blooms. My Inner Child has spoken: save the hydrangea!
The awareness, then, from Day 20 of my Transaction Cleanse: some wants have an inexplicable power. Resistance is futile. If you're lucky, yours can be satisfied as cheaply as a 10” terra cotta pot.