I popped into my local Home Depot store today to pick up a few things and, like always, I simply had to hit up the plant department. I always find the approach there a bit cringe worthy because I generally know what's in store - plants who were started and nurtured in the ideal environment, then packed up in boxes and left on shipping trucks for god knows how long, only to wind up on a dimly-lit shelf somewhere, right next to the automatic doors that allow frigid outside temps to blow on them a million times a day, and cared for by people who do not know what they're doing. By the time you get them home, they require a watchful eye and a little bit of preening before you can determine whether or not they'll make it. Today, I left empty handed.
The succulent and cacti shelves are always hit or miss. This time they were chock full of cacti - gorgeous specimens I would have been proud to take home with me - all adorned with neon-colored straw flowers that were hot glued to their tops. You guys, whenever I see this, a little part of me dies. That might sound a bit hyperbolic, but seriously, how awful! I feel the same way about the bonsai whose feet are literally *glued* inside a bed of aquarium gravel. It's cruel! Perhaps I put too much thought into it, or attribute too much emotion, but I value life in all forms. I honestly feel guilty when a houseplant dies. I feel sadness for plants like poinsettias at Christmastime, knowing full well that in a month's time that gorgeous plant will be in a landfill. Am I alone here? I really hope that I don't sound like a total freak in admitting this. Science has proven again and again that plants can communicate. They feel pain. They know when they're being picked or eaten, and they react to that. Plants who are talked to, or exposed to music, respond positively. They know when you care about them and when you don't. Trees will grow roots towards the stump of a fallen neighbor and continue to feed those roots for YEARS, trying to keep it alive. These are all facts.
I don't know. Call me crazy, and maybe I am, but I can’t stop thinking about those poor cacti at Home Depot.