In my kitchen window is an African violet my mom grew for me from a single leaf. She took the leaf from her own African violet, which she had grown from a leaf.
If it had been I who'd found the snapped-off leaf in the back of my car, I probably would've tossed it in the trash or left it to crisp in the trunk.
Not Mom. She has this curiosity about her, this Let's see what happens thing going. She gave that dying leaf a chance, and it showed her what it could do. That plant is now one of the most beautiful African violets I've ever seen, with white blooms on one side and purple on the other.
I've never been the most conscientious person with plants. In fact, my reputation as a plant-torturer preceded me so profoundly that when I'd walk though a greenhouse, schefflera would shudder, trumpet vine trees would tremble, and prayer plants would start their Hail Marys. But even though Mom was aware of my history with plants, she still entrusted me with this special violet.
Let's see what happens.
My mom has been doing that sort of thing all my life, planting - and actually growing - what most people would just throw away. She took the lopped off top of a pineapple and grew it into a plant, kept the seed from avocados and grew them, as well.
I know that African violet in my kitchen window isn't Mom, but in a way, it is. I look at it and see her. Because I've been determined to keep that violet alive, my other plants are now thriving. (Probably because they're now being watered more often than once or twice every quarter.)
A few months ago, my friend Sue and I were talking about gardens, and she offered to give me some slips of her plants. Slips was a term I hadn't heard before.