When I was in grad school, my younger friend, Joan, lived in a two-flat in Roscoe Village. The flat, on Wolcott Avenue, was unusual because it had a big side yard. Joan basically had the whole place to herself, because the old woman who owned it and lived in the bottom flat, had gone to live with her daughter, leaving her things in place. More
Have you ever been nostalgic for a particular moment in the life of a plant?
Before I met my husband, I lived by myself in a flat with all my old family furniture and not much else. I did, however, have a few houseplants, including this beefsteak begonia that my mother gave me.
The beefsteak begonia is an easy-care plant, with round, dark, glossy, thick-veined leaves. It likes indirect light and tolerates neglect. It tells you it needs water by drooping its leaves. For many months, it sat on the same table, while I did the minimum.
Then one year it bloomed. It put forth the dramatic spires you see, with many complex blossoms dangling from its branches like delicate charms.
I still have this plant, and it is still one of my favorites, but it has never bloomed subsequently.
My mother says the key is not to turn the plant but to leave it in exactly the same place.
I’m glad I took these pictures with my cell phone back in 2009.