We must have been quite the sight those (almost) 36 years ago when we packed up and moved to Florida. Everything we owned (again, almost) fit into a Ryder truck as we set off on what we thought was going to be a three-year experiment. Little did we know we'd love it enough to stay twelve times that long.
It wasn't that truck per se that made us such a sight; it was the Chevrolet Blazer that accompanied it. First of all, it was bright orange with a white top and plaid seats. It was purr-dy! And even though it was Wayne's truck, I was behind the wheel. That's because Wayne was driving the real truck. Me, one of the two boys, an Irish Setter and a whole bunch of plants.
Wayne had custom-built a plant rack to fit behind the back seat so I could bring an assortment of hanging baskets with me. In hindsight, it probably would have made more sense to just pitch them and start over but they were healthy and growing and I wanted them to come along. And like any good husband, Wayne had learned there are brownie points to be made in doing what is necessary to keep your wife happy.
The plant rack was genius. There were eye bolts to keep the pots securely in place although it probably looked weird to all the vehicles following us to see a bunch of potted plants swinging to and fro in the rear window of the Blazer in front of them. The only time we encountered a problem was when we stopped for gas. When Wayne would come to the rear corner of the Blazer to pump the gas and the dog took high-jumped the back seat in an effort to get close to him. Needless to say, the plants went swinging.
Despite being tossed and battered by our now long-departed best friend, the plants arrived in pretty good shape and were soon hung from real plant hangers on the back patio of our new home. I can only tell you what one of those plants was after all these years...an asparagus fern. I know that because that fern lives on in my yard today. Well, technically it's the descendants of that fern but still.
I thought of that today as I was filling my yard waste barrel with hunks of green asparagus fern. That little 12" hanging basket of fern has morphed into the plant that's everywhere. Peeking out of the azaleas in the front bed. Shooting up through the bushes by the garage. Overtaking the steps down to the pool deck in the back. When the fern got too big for the hanging basket, it went into a big pot which eventually got divided into two huge pots. And Mother Nature took over from there, sending the little berries with the seeds inside off to new locations, often with the aid of birds. I whack it off. I dig it up. I even spray it with Round-Up and still I have ferns in places where I don't want them. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to bring it from Kansas after all.
There isn't any in the bed next to the pool deck now though. I chopped it off at the same time I cut the hibiscus down to stubs. This is the first winter in a long time that the weather didn't get cold enough to kill it back so much of what I cut off was green. Straggly but green. It should be ready to grow now.
And that's just what the asparagus fern in the pot is ready to do; new shoots are popping out already. But then what else would I expect from such a resilient plant. It is, without a doubt, the definition of hardy.