The Medinilla magnifica started blooming last week, and every day it grows more magnifica and otherworldly. Sometimes I fear it might eat the rose geranium, which taunts it - fragrantly - from the windowsill, and which has also grown exponentially since Bonbon gave me a cutting to plant.
I haven't been around much, and my container garden has suffered. I've more of less kept up with the houseplants - the wild, ecstatic geranium, the Tiny Tim tomato plant that seeded itself in February from last year's crop (also from Bonbon), the Jasmine I bought from Trader Joe's. They sit on the sill and stare longingly at their breathern on the balcony.
But everything that lives outside is marked with neglect. This winter caused a bloodbath – several roses gave up the ghost, the Japanese maple went south, half the terracotta pots split open, and several of the IKEA wood deck tiles we put in rotted out. Considering that I've done the bare minimum of pruning, feeding, watering, planting, and tidying, the balcony looks a lot better than it should. Soon we'll have strawberries and clematis and whatever's left of the roses, with a tiny plot of arugula and lettuces (even a truant can open a seed pack, scatter, and hope for the best). I feel as though I'm being unfairly rewarded for horticultural neglect.
If I am home before dark, I climb out onto the balcony with a gin and tonic, survey what needs to be done (underplanting, staking, pinching), stare at all the bare patches of soil and the first signs of blackspot and...do absolutely nothing. Something in me just wants to sit for a while and appreciate that the sweet spontaneous earth has carried on very nicely without my poking and prodding.