Saturday, September 10, 2005

Hens & Chickens

Most people know that I'm not a gardener. In fact, it's all I can do to keep my children alive in my house, let alone plants. I'm the Charlie Brown of gardening. Tom gave me a cactus for Mother's Day once, since we'd heard that's the one plant you can't kill. Mine lived for three days. No kidding. The only things that grow around here are mold and potato eyes. . . and with no help from me.

But the other day, as Cooper and I were waiting for Jensen at the bus stop down the street, my neighbor approached me and asked me if I wanted some free hens and chickens. At first I thought she was crazy, but when she showed me a few boxes full of uprooted plants, I realized she was referring to them. Before I could explain that they'd be wasted on me, she explained that they grow like wildfire and were overrunning her yard. She implored me with her tone as she held the somewhat heavy boxes toward me and said I'd be doing her a big favor. Of course I took them, wondering the whole time where I'd be able to pawn them off. She told me how to plant them, and said they'd even grow where nothing else would. Yeah, we'll see.

I don't know what made me do it, but Jensen and I began transplanting them almost as soon as we got home, around this little garden in the middle of our yard. (It was there before we moved in, of course.) I worked on them on and off for the rest of the day, and was finally finished just before dark. They look cute, I guess, but I still have my doubts as to whether or not they'll grow or even survive for very long.

Luckily for all of you, I took pictures!

I still don't know why they're called hens and chickens. They look like neither to me, nor like any other farm animal I can think of. Anyone else have any idea? (See comment -- thanks, Sheila!)


Sheila said...

they're called that because the big one (the hen) grows with all the smaller ones (the chickens) around it similar to a hen gathering chickens under her wing. It may not be evident since you just planted them but as you watch them grow (have faith!) it will be more obvious. Sheila

Anonymous said...

they grow like wild fire! but when they are full they look great!