Saying Goodbye

They had to go. Even though they were beloved at one time, it was obvious that their time had come.


HIBISCUS I loved this hibiscus plant since the day the day it got here. It was only here for about 2 years but I protected it from burning and freezing, shaped it, fed it and nurtured it, and transplanted it from a lovely container to a magnificent one. But during the last four months of its life, it became a haven for whiteflies and I could not overcome them. I tried picking them off, cooking up my own organic remedies and then full-on chemical warfare. I managed to bring it back from sad little sticks to a reasonably healthy specimen, but the whiteflies never really went away. Since the plant lived inside the screen enclosure and shared a space with two even more beloved dwarf citrus trees, I knew it was only a matter of time until the whitefly migrated over.


They had to go. I chopped off the branches, dug out the roots and solarized the soil by covering the plantless pot with a black plastic bag. When I take the bag off in 2 weeks or so, I’m going to get rid of all the potting soil in there and scrub the pot innards. Then I’ll move in the Persian Lime tree once the current 98° heat wave (aka Florida summer) is over. That will be a good fit because what I’m ultimately trying to accomplish is to have something there of height and interest to take the eye away from the too-near shed right outside that corner. The challenge has been finding something attractive that can withstand a full day of direct sunlight. Stay tuned.

COVERED CHAIR Here’s an old friend that I have been having trouble separating myself from. In fact, I was going to get rid of it when we were deciding what to take and what to jettison in preparation for the move from New Jersey. But my daughter thought one of the bedroom chairs was too big for its space in the new place, so I took this one along, meaning to take off the cover and expose the simple MCM-ish dining chair underneath.


But I could never make myself do that. I made the cover myself sometime in the late 80s and it was so right in the formal parlor that housed the yellow floral lamp. There were curtains out of this same fabric, too. Double balloon valances (see above, “late 80s”.) It hasn’t been much used, not in that house or this one. I guess it’s too perfect for anyone to presume to sit upon? It’s been in 3 rooms here and just never worked. I considered Craigslisting it and curb alerting it, but it would be too sad for me if no one claimed it. So his week I went to take the cover off and was once again stopped by the … sweetness? … of it. The appealing fabric, the piping, the perfect little rosebuds centered on each button.

* sigh *

Dear Lord, Please help me to let go. Thank you for the 30 years I enjoyed it. Amen.

So as soon as I hit publish for this poet, I’m going to rip the cover off and recover the seat. Or maybe I’ll do it later. Or tomorrow.

I’ll do it tomorrow.

8 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye”

  1. I, too, know the heartbreak of a whitefly infestation! My beautiful ficus hedge was deep green and almost six feet wide, running the length of our house on one side. As impenetrable as a fence, it was one of the things I loved about this lot. Until the whiteflies. We fought the good fight, enlisting chemicals from the beginning. No joy.

    Your hibiscus is one of the most captivating I’ve seen; it must have been hellish letting it go.
    OH! Nextdoor is excellent for the exchanging of gently (or not so gently) used furniture. Just post “I have a…” and people will be scrambling over each other to message you. If you don’t keep it, that is. 😉

    1. I’ve only seen that type of hibiscus in Home Depot and they don’t have them at this time. So I’m going to wait it out until they come back – maybe once the weather cools off? (ha ha Florida!)

  2. My hibiscus story involved a dear male friend (yes, friend) who gave me a hibiscus his daughter had given him after he got the news that he had terminal cancer, was having to leave his condo, and couldn’t take a large potted plant with him. One bad Christmas, its red-flowering cheer was my “Christmas tree”… I moved it several times with me. Could not bear to part with it. Then the white flies showed up. Nasty buggers. It finally gave up. So did I.

    About the chair. If I were near you I’d take it. It is adorable. I wouldn’t care whether it went with anything. It is just too darned sweet. And all of the work you put into it is so obvious. I understand every emotion you are feeling…

    1. Lulu! How are you?

      I’ve turned my outdoor plant obsession tp Crown of Thorns now. It might be temporary – I imagine I’ll be back at hibiscus sooner or later. In the meantime, I have 2 potted citrus trees that are doing well so I can be content until the hibiscus bug hits again.

      I have another use for the chair itself so I forced myself to take the cover off of the chair. But I saved the buttons as a memento. 😦

      1. Hi, love…. This older-timer remembers the fun with Little Eye and Malaria and Sausage. You wicked thing, you. We hung around you like….whiteflies! You were the best although Hikka at ? (the site that explained Mooch’s lordosis to us) sometimes gave you a run for your money.

        You got a shout out at MOTUS today for a piece of elegant photoshopping (Obie and Abe Lincoln), one of your masterpieces.

        Sick of politics, I’ll probably have to come and sit on your porch once in a while to clear my head and think about what really matters….

        1. This blog is still a no -politics zone due to lingering toxicity from thinking too much about Obamas and Clintons. I spend my time now on Twitter making helpful comments about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. 😈

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