Crown of Thorns… or Glory!

“You’re throwing that out? I’ll take it!”

I could hardly believe myself. For the past two days, I’d been playing Tetris with my houseplants, trying to create room in the house for them as well as for the people who live here! The problem stems from taking the houseplants outside for the summer—where they grew larger—and from purchasing, oh, a few summer plants which overwinter indoors. 

I tried to be tough, I really did. I figured I should toss three plants that looked half-dead. Nope, couldn’t do it. They were still half-alive in my eyes. They could spring back anytime, right? I was trying to decide whether it was worth it or not to try to keep my Bougainvillea alive over the winter. It tends to drop leaves when first brought indoors. But, it reminds me of Jamaica and I need that boost in the winter months.

My plans to downsize my quota of plants went out the window once I met up with my neighbour, Anna. She was asking me where to keep a certain plant indoors. Not whether to do it or not. But, which room should she keep it in? We talked about plants dropping leaves and the problem with bugs being brought in from outdoors. But, we decided it was worth it in the end. To see the plant do even better the next spring!

In her garage, Anna showed me some plants that would stay there all winter, and other plants she planned to put out for the next yard waste pickup. Anna pointed out two Crown of Thorn plants. They bore inch-long thorns, oval leaves, and tiny red flowers. Anna was keeping the smaller plant. The larger plant was a bit wild. She had tried to restrain it with heavy twine.

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Well, you’ve heard that one shouldn’t covet thy neighbour’s wife. Nobody said anything about not coveting thy neighbour’s plant as far as I knew. I’ve loved that plant from the minute Anna told me its name. She’d given me a cutting from it— “just stick it in soil, it’ll root”—last winter. My cutting had thrived and grown… a couple of inches.

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It was still only about 8” tall. The plant being ditched was almost 5’ tall!

Anna mentioned how her son insisted she toss out her favourite Bougainvillea and just buy a new one next spring even though she wanted it in the house. I offered to carry it in the house for her. Anna is elderly, and sons shouldn’t be bossy like that to their Mom, especially if she’s a plant lover. Anna told me how her family thinks she has far too many plants. I told her, “No such thing…what do they know?”

I tried to lift the plant she gave me. Heavy!! Anna let me borrow her cart she uses for her recycling containers to take my plant home. It was an effort carrying it up the stairs. I managed to park it in front of the kitchen sink.

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That was about my limit. I had enough from carrying it from the front foyer to the kitchen. Plus, I was undecided where to put it.

My hubby didn’t bat an eye when he spied the towering plant. “I heard you on the phone…I know all about it.”

He’s a great man. He carried it up to my plant room for me. Even offered to buy me a three-wheeled dolly to put it on so I can move it around if I want to.

My plant room is crowded—

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—but it’s my indoor garden. My sanctuary. My place of retreat.

Anna told me to bring the plant outside in the summer. After she’s gone, I can have it remind me of her, she’d said with a laugh.

I don’t think it will fit through the doorway again.

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It was difficult to fit it inside the first time.

Nope, the Crown of Thorns will stay put year-round in my room. The crown of thorns bestowed upon Jesus is long gone as is the suffering that went along with it. Jesus now wears the crown of glory. So, too, are my troubles left at the doorway where this plant now resides, and I find peace surrounded by my multitude of plants.

I hope you have your own little place of tranquility as well!

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