Last fall, I became intrigued by the idea of teaching a geranium to climb.
And let me just admit right up front that I completely realize how horticulturally geeky that sounds. There’s a metaphor in the offing — I PROMISE.
I received a geranium seedling from a friend in September and decided to try training it indoors in a sunny spot. It was remarkably easy. By January it was blooming in my office. (And let me tell you, the sight and smell of geraniums in the middle of a Wisconsin winter is nothing short of miraculous.) In May, I moved it out to my front deck to live outside for the summer. It has been in bloom since January and it flowers all along the length of the plant.
Twice now, the plant has been toppled over in a storm. Once it fell off the second story deck, shattering its pot. The second time (last week) it was yanked clean through its wall tethers, stripping off leaves and flowers on its way to the deck floor.
Anxious for that metaphor yet?
This little geranium has a lot to teach us about life.
- It doesn’t matter who you are or what your background is; in the right conditions you can climb to amazing heights.
- Support comes in all forms, but it’s necessary that it be strong, and that it grows with you rather than hold you back.
- If you want to look your best all the time, you had better feed yourself well.
- The more you intend to grow, the stronger your foundation needs to be.
The basic physics of this last one is what I’m still working on with my geranium. I’ve repotted it several times now, but it still surprises me that, for all this is a healthy and strong plant, it needs a great deal of architectural support to keep it standing tall.
Still with me? Did you get the message in all the plant-talk? Pretty much anything – be it a project, a child or your own life – can be extraordinary, as long as the growing conditions are right.
Photograph taken by me on the iPhone via Snapseed.
It’s looking a little worse for the wear after its latest tumble, but still growing strong.