Rhonda the Pencil Plant

Gene and Rhonda

Gene and Rhonda

This pencil plant has a lively history. I learned of it years ago when Dianna was selling her plant nursery. I lusted after this plant, and Dianna was giving plants away. But no, she did not want me to have this one. She gave me several others to take home that day when Marideth and I visited the soon to be closed business. I quit thinking about the plant and how lovely it would look in my large open living room.

Several years later at Christmas time friends were coming to my house for an evening of gift exchange and merriment. Pat and Lois and Marideth were among the guests. Pat called and asked me if I was still interested in the pencil plant that Dianna had owned. I said YES! Expecting to get a cutting and having forgotten, or maybe not even knowing that Pat had the plant, I was delighted.

Well it was cold, and December, and a long haul to Moonmooring from WP. They were going to give it a try anyway. It had outgrown Pat’s living room and needed to move on. So they wrapped “Rhonda” in a heavy blanket and tossed ‘er into the back of a pickup, laying down. And by the way could I take a couple of chickens. Now I have no idea why anyone thinks I should have chickens. Have you seen where I live? Chicken story at eleven.

December 2012

December 2012

A few hours later here they came down my long dusty lane (now frozen) and backed in. Much to my surprise we hauled out the fit as a fiddle and all of six feet tall pencil tree. I was more than a little amazed. There was a little pine green crochet bag adorning the goli’eth. It had been made by Mosa and inside the bag was a tiny crystal. The little bag and crystal a gift from Susan. Some time later after a visit from other friends Lucy and Donna, Lucy gifted me “Legs”, a coiled realistic looking snake, to add to Rhonda. She said Legs had been around a very long time and needed a new home and one of two large house plants I had would do nicely. Legs ended up living in a huge palm part of the time. That too is another story.  Sheesh, how do I get myself in these fixes?

One winter I strung some of those tiny flickering lights through Rhonda and she acted just like a Christmas tree. Rhonda was fast becoming a fancy gal. That was fun.

Rhonda's "friend", the palm

Rhonda’s “friend”, the palm

Every spring Rhonda goes to the yard to soak up the sun and rain and to grow about two more feet. Sometimes she gets a trim in the spring.

Every October Rhonda comes back in the house but not before I do some serious chopping. You already know she has grown at least two feet and sometimes more than that. Rhonda’s “choppins’” often go to unwitting avid plant lovers throughout the Ozarks.

One spring I was trimming all the plants and repotting for the season. I had over thirty house plants in those days but we won’t go there right now either. Anyway, repotting that many house plants can be quite a job and I got side tracked with something. There were about ten big branches of Rhonda scattered on the ground in the repotting area and they got left there. They rooted. All of them. And so did Rhonda. Right out the bottom of the pot and into the sandy soil. I had to use a saw to dissect her from the ground that fall.

Lets all take a Zen kind of moment and think about adopting an appendage from Rhonda.

Let’s all take a Zen kind of moment and think about adopting an appendage from Rhonda.

Legs still lives in Rhonda. Or the big palm, Or coiled up on a small bench in the entryway. He keeps the UPS guy on his toes, as well as a few other people.

As you may know, it is October. In fact, it is nearing the end of October and Rhonda is still waiting for her annual haircut. I chopped one crazy cowlick and sent it to Abby but I never did hear if it actually reached the destination.

Any takers on a really great, easy to grow, exotic plant to liven your own menagerie? Free for the taking. Seriously. Gene has the chainsaw ready and Legs is standing back.

Plants need love too. Glad to be in for the winter, the palm

Plants need love too. Glad to be in for the winter, the palm

Some of the other Moonmooring wildlife, the Flamingo herd

Some of the other Moonmooring wildlife, the Flamingo herd

signature, Sarah

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