Every few years, I buy a new pot and a new bag of potting mix, and I spend an afternoon re-potting a Boston fern that I've been moving all over the West Coast with me for almost forty years.
Yesterday was the day. The re-potting day, that is. I had already bought the new pot and plant mix and now was ready to have at the fern that just seems to keep on fern-ing no matter where I live or what I do to it. It's a plant that loves to live.
I love plants. When I lived in a house, visitors often commented that it looked like a jungle because of all the plants I kept. Depending on where I'd be living at any given time, I might have 20 cymbidium orchids along with the regular variety of house-plants and plants who lived outdoors, or a couple of dozen different "flavors" of scented geraniums, or a patio-full of succulents and cactus, along with begonias and fuchsias of all varieties. I took these plants with me wherever I was moving – Los Angeles to Reno to San Francisco to San Diego to Vancouver, WA. Most of them made the moves quite well; sometimes they didn't like the new environment and decided it was a good time to die. But for the most part, the plants seemed to like moving as much as I did.
I just couldn't seem to help myself around plants. I love them! If I found a piece of a plant that is easily started from a cutting or a leaf lying on the floor of a Home Depot Garden Shop, I'd grab it up and take it home and put it in some water to grow roots before planting it in a little pot. Same thing with any garden or arboretum that I'd be visiting – I couldn't let those little pieces of plants die! Besides, they were free plants! How could I pass that up?
Then when my house went away a few years ago and I found myself anticipating living in my car with my three cats and big dog, I gave most of them away to friends who would give them good homes. However, I had two plants that I couldn't let go – I've had them since my son was just a few years old and both of them have great, adventurous stories to tell. So I kept them. These two plants have traveled with me over the past five years or so – every once in awhile being fostered for a month or two by someone willing to water them until I returned – and now it was time to re-pot this old Boston fern… actually, it's way past time, judging by the root ball!
Here, in pictures, is the story of a new house for Ferny: