A few weeks ago, I read Jeremy Wayne Lucas’ “True Confessions of a Gardening Addict” on the best gardening site, Dave’s Garden. Lucas humorously narrates how he traveled down the dark path of obsessive compulsive gardening, whereupon he developed a messianic complex toward the unwanted, clearanced plants at his local home improvement store. Lucas writes:
I also began to sense that the garden center managers shared my sincere respect for the life of the plants. We all realized that, despite some inept care, the plants were, for the most part, completely recoverable and could go on to full, happy lives. With what would probably be diagnosed by my psychiatrist as a hero-ideation complex with more than a touch of megalomania, I justified my compulsion to haul off every available cell pack by believing myself the rescuer of these otherwise doomed plants in the way that Schindler had been the emancipator of Jews during the reign of the Nazis. It became my deific duty to take every available plant (though I must admit that just after December 31, I was less than thrilled to haul off about four hundred pitiful, purloined poinsettias). I was especially overjoyed when the time came each month for the out-of-flower orchid plants to be discarded as cells. The orchids seemed like a special reward for my devoted service. My heart would also leap at some of the exotic shrubs, plumerias and other tropicals, shelves of “Angel Brand” mini-plants, and cultivar roses that came my way. I processed thousands of perennials, tens of thousands of annuals, and filled my garden to overflowing whenever I had a moment to spare from the triaging and tending.
I merrily empathize with Lucas, though I do not think that I have nearly so virulent a strain of pollicis viridis.