Resurrecting Beanie

16 May

On Saturday afternoon, I was startled from a Facebook-induced trance by the sound of James wailing as if the world had just ended.

“What on earth is the matter?” I asked.

“Plant died!” he cried. “Plant died!”

Bearing in mind that five minutes previously, James had been crashing toy monster trucks into each other, it is understandable that I was completely confused.

When I investigated, I discovered that each child in James’ class at school had grown a small potted plant from seed as part of a project. On Friday, the project was deemed a success, and the children were allowed to take their plants home with them. James’ plant was placed in a large brown paper bag, which was placed in his backpack. Which James’ lazy mommy did not check on Friday evening.

So by the time James opened his backpack on Saturday, the soil in the pot was dry and much of it had spilled into the bottom of the paper bag.

The good news, though, was that although the plant looked a little the worse for wear, it was still alive. Somehow I managed to calm down this hysterical child who was screaming as if the family Labrador had died, and I convinced him that – um, Plant – would be OK.

I poured the soil from the paper bag back into the pot. I stood the pot on a saucer and stuck a stick into the soil to support the plant, which is some kind of viney thing that cannot stand on its own. I watered the plant and showed James how it was green and strong, and not at all dead. I promised him that together, him and I would take care of it.

Yesterday, I asked James if he wanted to check on Plant’s progress.

“His name is not Plant,” said James in grand tones. “His name is Beanie.”

Beanie? Why Beanie?

When asked, James replied as if I was a complete moron for not getting it: “Because it’s a beanstalk.”

It is? Well, I’ll just have to take James’ word for it. I wouldn’t know a beanstalk if it jumped up and bit me on the butt.

Beanie was doing well. James fed it – I mean, him – some more water. On the advice of my mother-in-law, who knows considerably more about gardening than I do, we moved Beanie to a different spot, where he would get just the right mix of sun and shade.

And so the care of Beanie, who is maybe seven inches high but is, according to James, fourteen years old, has become an integral part of our daily routine.

This plant had better not die. There is a lot of pressure on me to make sure it stays alive. If anyone has any horticultural tips on ensuring the survival of what may or may not be a beanstalk, please pass them on.

(Photo credit:


One Response to “Resurrecting Beanie”

  1. Karyn @ kloppenmum May 16, 2011 at 7:54 PM #

    No gardening knowledge worth passing on, but I will keep my fingers crossed for you.

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