It’s all a little hazy what my first plant was. I have racked my brains and finally whilst staring at the snow and sipping another cup of tea, I really am drinking too much tea but I am so bored, I remembered that as a young child I was given a mini-greenhouse as a Christmas present.
Now don’t be overly impressed when I say mini greenhouse I don’t mean something that you can use outside. No, this was what I suppose would be classed as a simple propagator now. I have a memory of it looking like a greenhouse in shape but I don’t know how distorted that memory is. Anyway, with this mini-greenhouse there were definitely some packets of seeds. I can’t tell you what they were except one packet was some form of cactus seeds.
I sowed the seeds and a cactus germinated. I expect there were also sunflowers and other child friendly seeds but I have long forgotten those. It is now occurring to me that cactus was rather a strange thing to put in a child’s gardening kit or maybe they are in fact easy to germinate. They certainly thrive on neglect so are ideal for small gardeners.
My cactus grew though not very large and always lurked in some corner of my bedroom. I think I treated it a more of an ornament than a living thing I needed to care for. Every so often, maybe once or twice a year, it was watered and then forgotten. In my teens the cactus progressed to living inside a clay pot I made at school – one of those wonky brown jobs.
I grew into an adult, got my first flat, the cactus moved in too – lurking in another corner. I should say for clarification it was probably no more than 3 inches at any point. I got married, I had children, I got divorced. Still the cactus lived with me sometimes forgotten and dusty, sometimes watered and moved into a more obvious position when I felt guilty. I moved house twice more, the cactus came too.
Then – I discovered gardening big time and sadly this was to be the demise of the cactus. In a fit of guilt and greenfingered enthusiasm I decided to re-pot it. I bought cactus compost and carefully transplanted it. It died. After 30 years of neglect I showed my cactus some tlc and it died.
That was my first plant but certainly not my last. I may not be a fan of cactus but there are two more lurking in my house which my sons bought a few years back. As before they get watered from time to time, they even flower and to be honest they need re-potting but I think I shall just ignore them for that bit longer.