Deciduous plants are the ones that drop all their leaves once a year. In California, we don’t have too many of them. The word literally means “falling off at maturity.” And, in a way, that’s what I just did.
After 35 years in California, 20 in San Francisco, and 5 in our house, my wife and I decided to move to Oregon. There are reasons, lots of reasons, that I won’t get into here. Suffice to say, when we decided to go, we decided to go fast.
I had a lot of plants. Too many. And most of them could not come with us because we’d be moving around for a while. So I had to find homes for them. Fortunately, I’ve met a lot of awesome plant people in my San Francisco years.
The orchids, carnivorous plants, and a few other jungle plants went into my friend Rob’s greenhouse. I know they’ll be happy there. Rob is the one who got me started on Sarracenia in the first place. (UPDATE: You can see some of them in this post.)
A bunch of outdoor succulents (some that they’d given me in the first place), as well as many great indoor plants (including two giant banana trees), went to Megan and Matti, who inspired me to get creative with succulents.
Two of my very favorite succulent planters, as well as one of my favorite orchids (in bloom), went to Jenn and Matt, who just got married, so I could pretend they were wedding gifts. Of course, one of the succulents was given to me by Jenn originally.
And I was so happy to gift my Woolly Pockets to Gem (who I neglected to photograph with them), my fellow Conservatory volunteer, and a constant encourager in all my botanical adventures.
And the rest? Well. All change requires some sacrifice.
Dismantling my garden was one of the saddest things I’ve ever had to do. I took many breaks to cry in the back yard. These plants were like my children. But if gardening has taught me anything, it’s that life is about change. And for every plant that dies, more sprout up to take its place.
I put down a lot of roots in San Francisco, metaphorical and actual. It makes me so happy to know that I still have roots there, being tended by some of my dearest friends.
Naturally, I couldn’t let all the plants go. The bulbs, tubers, and rhizomes got bagged, labeled, and put in a box labeled “Ark.” I’m hoping they have a nice, comfy dormancy and bounce back once we have a new home.
And, of course, I had to take a few. I brought a jar of cuttings from various houseplants, a single pine tree I started from a cutting from my favorite tree in Buena Vista Park, and a Philodendron I grew from a seed. Like me, they are all far from home, looking forward to putting down new roots.