Sunday, October 04, 2009


My friend, Holly, gave me a pretty pink hydrangea plant to use as a table decoration for the upcoming art show. My mother and I both felt the leaves and flowers of the plant and thought it a fake. Three days later, I loaded it in the back of the truck with all my art paraphernalia and headed off to set up.

The plant fell over as I was unloading and a few drops of water dribbled out. I looked closer. The flowers were all wilted and drooping down over the edge of the pot. Oh, my gosh, it’s a live plant! What will Holly say when she sees that I’ve killed the flower she gave me?

Luckily I had water and in half an hour, the plant revived. The weekend was a success and two days later, I glanced at the plant. The flowers drooped down over the edge of the pot again. Oh, no. Guess I’d better get it planted in the ground.

I chose a spot where it would get morning sun and placed it in the ground giving it plenty of water. The next morning, my senses were assailed by the rankest smelling skunk odor I’ve ever come across. I looked out the window. The hydrangea was lying on its side.

I rushed out. There were two tiny footprints pressed into the bone dry, soft dirt where I’d planted the hydrangea. It looked like the plant was carefully pulled up and put aside and the hole filled in. How odd. The plant didn’t look chewed upon nor was the root ball damaged. I re-dug the hole adding Miracle Gro soil, placed the plant, packed in dirt, and watered.

There was a frost that night. The hydrangea, from my distant window, was looking a little weathered with the flowers being more brown than pink. Another night passed. I looked out. The hydrangea was lying on its side. What? Not again.

I went out with the shovel. There was a faint skunk odor in the air. The hydrangea was again two feet away from the hole. Was there a reason the skunk did not want the plant in that spot?

I considered moving the plant and looked at the tag where I read, “Zones 7-9.” We are considered zone 4. The hydrangea would never survive the winter outside. Was the skunk trying to tell me?

I got a pot and made a new home for the hydrangea. I cut back the now dead flowers. It’s happy in its sunny place with my other indoor plants.

As for the skunk, he’s been around these past few nights but none of my other plants are dug up and in the air, the fresh smells of autumn and rain.

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