Most of us have heard that old saying that goes something like’. ‘In the spring time a young man’s something or another goes to fancy or something”I forgot most of it, but you know what I mean. Anyway, here we are in the middle of winter and once we have one or two clear, warm and pleasant days, you can bet most of us are out doing what we normally do this time each and every year. Head to the nursery and buy new flowers and plants. I happen to like things that bloom and look nice. I just don’t like what happens once they get planted in my yard.

I like plants that bud and grow all spring, summer and most of the fall. However, it seems that for nearly all of my adult life I’ve managed to buy mostly what the stores call ‘annuals’. In my case, I think they should be changed to ‘monthlies’or in some case ‘weeklies’. In fact the term could even be better expressed as ‘weaklies’. I have the unique distinction of being able to take a perfectly healthy plant or flower from the store and you can bet it’ll begin to spiral into the final throes of death before I have driven 10 miles. I’m almost certain that if I could hear plant talk, I’d be able to hear them screaming ”no, no, not him’.anyone but him’ please don’t let him take me’.’

Fortunately my hearing is not as good as it once was, so if they do yell, I can’t tell. I’m the dark avenger of the plant world. Once I get these expensive objects home and put them into pots with soil as directed’I move them to the most advantageous locations that are called for in the directions. I follow the directions very closely. Then I eagerly await their growth and blooming cycles, which almost certainly never happen as portrayed on the sales information. I believe I could be a plant tester for any major landscape company. If it lived under my care, then it’ll live anywhere. Tested by Perry might become famous’there’s a thought.

Several years ago I was given a 20 year Bonsai for Christmas. A beautiful plant, but it died in a matter of months. What was I doing wrong here’Do the plant people want these things to die so you have to keep coming back year after year'(You think) How do they get all of them to bloom at the same time when you are in the store’If they wilt at my house in a week, wouldn’t they have wilted at the store as well, and if so where are they now’You don’t see wilted flowers and plants in the stores. It must be flower fairies who change them all out each night.

Another thing I’ve noticed’ can get the pots all filled and looking nice and then next winter when you have to move them inside to keep them from freezing each pot now weighs about 5 times as much. Perhaps I’m growing a new species called Concretus Potus or something. All I know is these things now have to lugged around with a forklift. They look and feel really hardy, but looks can be deceiving. You’re thinking nothing short of a nuclear blast can kill this baby. Then the first night you forget to bring everything inside, and the temperature drops below freezing for about 12 seconds, that hardy thing you couldn’t move is guaranteed to shrivel, droop and die before dawn. Then you’re faced with the daunting challenge of what to do with the dead carcass and how you can dismember it in such a way as to get it into the garbage. Since the average garbage collector won’t touch anything not wrapped, tied or bound according to the “Sanitary Refuse Haulers Convention Agreement of Vienna , 1895′, you can bet the dead thing will be hanging around longer than you’d like.

My garbage guys follow the Vienna rules so closely they won’t pick up things that are left out on the wrong side of the trashcans. Dead plants fall into some different category than the usual stuff we throw away. Try sticking something with thorns into a plastic bag. This could qualify as some form of new Olympic contest. In some cases I’ve found that mailing the dead plant stuff to someone is actually cheaper and easier than getting into an argument with Bruno the head trash collector on our block. Of course, so would buying plastic flowers and shrubs. But then they wouldn’t ever bloom would they’Hope springs eternal’or something like that.