I went out to water my container garden today, and was struck suddenly by the realization that these guys would all be comin’ with me to the new house.

It’s only because I’m absurdly excited about the house, but I felt like a general who finally got word that my troops were getting sent back home. My deck has been a cruel place for plants–winter sun becomes deep shade early in the year, and the humidity and killing heat of the south can be terribly hard on potted plants. And my care is a deeply darwinian water-’em-once-in-a-while, with random fertilizer when I remember, which isn’t often.

The few plants that have emerged are a tough bunch. The honeysuckle, as good-natured and enthusiastic a plant as you’d wish, who’s never flowered yet, but charges along the railing like a slow-mo racehorse. The valiant clematis, out of place and against the odds, who nevertheless curls around a single post, determinedly mustering the energy for a single flower. The swamp jessamine, who should be dead a thousand times over, but clings to life with a native ferocity that belies it’s tender billing (perhaps the nursery guy was mistaken.) The heat-tolerant lilac, brutally stunted by a late cold snap last year, but rallying. (I suspect the lilac is a whiner, as plants go. It will live, but it will complain to the other plants the whole time.) The Lenten Rose, who I largely ignored as a generic green thing, who shocked me by suddenly producing beautiful flowers. The rhody, a hefty, good-natured plant who is slowly losing ground to the squirrels and the heat, but who, in more hospitable settings, may yet recover. The columbine I expected to never see again, but who came up this spring and reported for duty.

I am not particularly sentimental about my plants, but I find I wanna hug ’em and tell ’em it’s all gonna be okay now.

I suspect at least half will die of transplant shock, because that’s life for ya, but I hold out hope. These guys are survivors. Some of them (Honeysuckle, I’m lookin’ in your direction!) will stay in pots permanently, as they’re too crazy to be integrated into polite plant society. But others can finally go into the ground, finally get a taste of sun that isn’t the consistency of weak tea, and I hope that they’ll enjoy it.

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