orange tree (part deux)

May 3, 2022

It was a rookie mistake to put my orange tree on the deck last June. I’d been caring for it all year, and I was eager to see it flourish under spring showers and sunshine. It seems so stupid now that I didn’t do it gradually. Of course the intensity of midday sun would bleach its verdant leaves acid yellow. And all that rainwater must have choked the poor thing. What was I thinking? I quickly brought it back in and crossed my fingers that it would convalesce in its original spot and bare fruit again in the coming months. No such luck. One by one its yellow leaves started to fall, despite my continued commitment. Then came the familiar quandary that all plant owners face, and why so many of us avoid buying them in the first place; do I ditch the plant and replace it with another one, or do I carry on taking care of an unhealthy one that may or may not thrive again in a year? “Pull it out of its pot, wash the roots and plant it in new soil with a helping or two of fertilizer,” was the advise of my green thumbed neighbour. “And then watch it for a year.” Gosh. On the day of the transplant, I walked past a beautiful orange tree potted in an amber planter in the window of a flower shop on Bloor Street that I’m sure the universe put there to tease me. “Take me home, forget the other one,” I heard it whisper. I nearly caved. I’m giving my little tree six months. I’ll need to see progress, even a tiny bit. Isn’t that what anyone needs to stay hopeful?


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