I found this table in a dark corner of my Grandma’s basement. It was covered in cobwebs and my Mom remarked that it was something we might buy at the flea market. I didn’t give it much thought because it looked a bit rough and really, what use did I have for another table? A few days later we had our first frost warning and I got to thinking about my houseplant. I usually put them in the bay window and then promptly forget about them. They wilt and yellow, lose leaves, and otherwise look very sad until Spring when I kick them out of the house and put them on the deck railing in the back. They’ll grow like gangbusters and look all happy and green before the cycle starts all over again. Try as I might with my mindless neglect of them I just can’t kill them.
Or, rather I couldn’t until this year when I lost one due to frost. I kicked them out earlier than usual because of the warm spring which mean quite a bit of schlepping in and out of the house. I think I gave up at some point with the schlepping and one of them was pretty hard hit so I dumped it, rather unceremoniously, in the compost bin. The remaining plant recovered slightly, but then the drought hit and while I did water several bushes outside I tended to forget about the plant on the deck railing and it, again looked pitiful.
At this point in my story I’m thinking I should be thankful that there is not a Humane Society for Houseplants because I suspect they’d come and liberate the plant from my care. Promise you won’t turn me in, ok?
I did at one point remember that the plant needed water, although that was probably because my husband had to move it and found the pot was a bit on the light side. Typically when this happens I put the pot in the tub and turn on the tap until the water pours out the bottom. Hmmm, yeah, you won’t turn me in to the plant welfare people, right?
I put it back out on the deck railing and then we got rain. Lots of rain and the plant bounced back better than ever. Isn’t she pretty?
I couldn’t very well bring her back inside to the bay window. Clearly, though the window gets the most sunlight in the house (and you wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to find sunlight in this house) it’s not a place that my plant is happy. But where to put her? My Mom has gently suggested that perhaps I bring the plant over to her house because she’s the plant whisperer and all plants thrive at her house, but I can’t do that. I started this plant from trimmings from an office plant back before I had kids. I have dutifully cut off other parts of the plant, rooted them, and then replanted them. Sure, I might
largely neglect it, but I’ve got time and effort into this plant.
Then I remembered the table in the neglected corner of my Grandma’s basement. Neglected table? Neglected plant? It’s a match made in home decorator’s paradise.
…Or something like that.
Sure, it needs a coat of something to protect the wood, the bolts on the bottom connecting the table top need to be tightened, the legs need some glue, and the entire thing is splashed with paints of unknown origin, but it’s a table. It would have probably been taken to St. Vinnny’s or thrown out so why not come to my house and hold my plant? As for the plant splashes, my husband has been directed, repeatedly, that when he gets around to shoring up my table and applying the finish, he not touch those paint splatters. My Dad will probably think I’m crazy for hiding what is really nice wood behind them, but I think they’re what makes the table what it is. Rustic.
At first the table just held the plant and it seemed right to me. Then, I was decorating for fall (and our Autumn Equinox family dinner) and I had all these things to use, but no room on the mantle. I added in a few paper pieced mini-quilts and then it was perfect. Neither the table, nor the plant, are neglected. They’re the focal point of the harvest season and the reminder that nothing is beyond saving.