Do you remember your first plant?


My first remembrance of plants, or rather that which is associated with plants, is soil. Specifically the soil under some geranium bushes covering my younger sister’s cheeks and mouth … soil tasting of cigarette stub titbits….I was the docile five-year old. Many decades later the scent of a geranium (pelargonium?) continues to recall the memories.

My first remembrance of my plant, or rather its beginnings, was a seedling: the “grow-your-own-bean-between-two-pieces-of-cotton-wool” nature science experiment in primary school. The seedling germinated;  for all that, I failed to associate the mentioned seedling with the green bean, potato and meat dish we so often had. Were these perhaps early sproutings of reasons why I home schooled our children many years later?

My first remembrance of a plant, my plant, was a purple? blue? African violet in a copper planter. It was a gift from my grandmother. Her house filled with copper planters, abundant with purple and dark red greenery… or was/is it just me yearning?

Botany lessons of propagation did not interest me. As a young married girl I merely bought a new viooltjie (small violet) when its leaves turned curly and spotty. Usambara violets? Some botany lessons did shoot some roots.

Just the other day I bought a deep blue? purple? (why didn’t I look closely?) African violet and gave it to my daughter. Were the memories so impressed that I unconsciously continued the gift of giving?

I hope not.

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