Monday, December 18, 2006

Willy the Fern

Many years ago, when I was living with Brenden and Linzy was still going to school up in Duluth she came down to visit one weekend and bought herself a fern.

In theory, this fern was going to be making the trek back to Duluth with her, but she 'forgot' it that weekend. Since I had explicitly said that I wanted nothing to do with a plant, I was tempted to protest this transparent attempt to saddle me with a plant and let the thing die.

Eventually though, I felt bad for the little fern shivering near the window and bought a stand and watered the plant. At that point I was still intending to give the plant back to Linzy the next time she came down to visit. When she 'forgot' the plant a second time in a row, I admitted defeat and accepted the fact that I was now the not-so-proud owner of a fern.

Somewhere along the line, the fern was nicknamed 'Willy'. Don't ask me why, but the name stuck. So, for the last 6-7 years, I've been tending to Willy the fern. He's had a few close calls (including being knocked off the refrigerator during an apartment move) but for the most part he doesn't require much attention.

He is a temperamental plant though.

He particularly doesn't like it when the house gets dry (which unfortunately for him happens both during the winter when we run the heat and the summer when we run the air conditioning). Whenever we have a long stretch of needing to run the air, and for most of the winter, Willy 'sheds'. All his old leaves on the bottom wilt and fall off slowly over time.

This make a mess, but most frustratingly, it so gradual that there is no way you can really clean up the dead leaves. Every day Willy throws a few more on the ground in protest that I don't love him enough to mist him. As payback whenever I clean the house I haul Willy out to the middle of the living room and give his leaves a good shaking, resulting in the mess you see in the picture. It's probably a bit stressful for the plant, but it does a good job of limiting the number of leaves that get dropped for the next several days.

Amusingly, even after Linzy moved in with me, she still didn't really take care of Willy. Making it even more clear that she never had any intention of making the plant 'hers'.

3 comments:

Groovy said...

Awwwwwww bless he is obviously trying to tell you he needs some tlc Steve ;)

here's a link i dug out for you ;) you have to scroll down abit!!!
"caring for indoor ferns"
http://www.willapabay.org/~genadmin/extension/radio%20scripts/2001dec17-dec28.htm

Pete said...

Wasn't Willy the name of the cat that Ted used to take with him on his painting rounds? I think you named your fern this you miss that fur ball so much.

Steve Eck said...

Nikki, It wasn't so much that I didn't know how I could save Willy's leaves as much as I just don't like having to mist him every day. Thanks for the link though!

Pete, It could have been the cat's name; I had forgotten all about that cat.