We’ve all seen them—those sad, dejected puppy and kitty eyes gazing out at us from our TVs or computer screens begging us to care. Even the forlorn bunnies and ferrets can melt the iciest of hearts. Well…maybe not the ferrets. And when we hear of a shelter animal being adopted into a loving family after a hard knock life, we get a warm, fuzzy feeling and even think about adopting one ourselves.
In that same spirit, today I’d like you to consider another group of forgotten creatures—rescue plants. You’ve no doubt seen them at nurseries and other stores and thought, “Yikes!”: the droopy tomato plants left over after the initial rush of gardeners; the bruised and blighted roses; the trailing ivies with brown, curling leaves tangled like kite strings; the hard-bitten cactus with nothing left to lose that pricks you as you walk by. These poor souls deserve better than to be relegated to the compost pile. They need our help.
That’s why I’ve made it my mission to embrace as many rescue plants as I can. I believe that given enough light, loam, and love, any plant, however scraggly, can be restored to its original majesty and bring delight to any home.
I’ve found most of my rescues at Stop & Shop, waiting with hopeful expectation right inside the entrance. Since I hate to see any living creature caged up, I’ve been instinctively drawn to the sad spectacle of shriveled leaves clinging to the cruel bars of a shopping cart, and once I’ve become emotionally attached, how can I abandon them?
I load them into the child seat of my cart, and they become my companions as I wait at the deli, pick up more macaroni and cheese (do people ever outgrow this delicacy?), hoof it to the far, far aisles for bread and milk, and trudge back to the front of the store for the garlic, cereal, honey, carrots…that I forgot the first time around (seriously, when did the grocery list become some kind of Mensa quiz?). By the time I finally exit the checkout lane and return to my car, these little guys have become my new best friends.
I’m proud to introduce a few of my new family members:
Buddy is one of the lucky ones. Won’t you join me to ensure no plant ever goes unloved again? Please open your heart and your window box, garden, desk, window sill, plant stand, or terrarium to a rescue plant. Remember: