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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A Life Worth Saving?

I run a weekly Slimming World group in the Methodist Church in Copnor Road, Portsmouth (Wednesdays at 5.15 & 7.00pm). A preschool group also uses the hall during term time and we are used to seeing paintings and other things left to dry on the windowsills.

This year, they have been growing tomato plants, and inevitably one of them got left behind... I first saw it a couple of weeks ago, just after the end of the summer term.

There is a kitchen at the back of the church, a lovely bright and airy space with big, west facing windows. The plant was one of of the window sills; it was planted in a clear plastic disposable cup and was far too big for the container... I felt the soil (such as it was) and it was a little damp, so I gave it a drink and left it there, figuring that somebody was coming back to collect it.

However, I got a shock when I unlocked the kitchen the following week...

The tomato plant was still on the windowsill; it's leaves were hanging straight down, and some of them had gone yellow... I rushed over and felt the soil, it was bone dry. I quickly gave it some water and took it out of the glare of the sunlight streaming through the windows, then I went off to run my group.

Some hours later, after the groups had both finished, I went back into the kitchen to lock up... The tomato plant had recovered a little, but was still looking very poorly. I stood and thought about what to do; what if someone was coming back to collect it? Would it be stealing to take it home?

Whilst I thought, I had been gazing up at the window, as I looked back down at the plant, I heard it scream-no really, I did! In my head I heard it scream in panic!

"Don't leave me here!"

That was it. I could not, in all conscience leave it there! By the time I returned in another week, it would either be dead, or nearly dead, so if someone was coming back for it, they would not be getting a healthy plant anyway!

I carefully wrapped the plastic cup in a paper towel and wedged it upright in my car. On the way home, I found myself talking to it, telling it that it was going to be out in a nice courtyard garden with other pants to keep it company and plenty of water...

Once home, Phil unloaded the car for me and gave me a quizzical look on seeing the plant; I explained and he laughed...he is used to me by now!

I grabbed my gardening gloves and immediately took it out of the hated cup, repotting it into a nice large pot, filled with rich, damp soil. As I left it for the night, I could feel the waves of relief, like a huge *sigh* coming off the tomato plant as it stretched out it's roots and wiggled it's toes...

The following morning, the first thing I did when I got downstairs, was unlock the door to the courtyard and go and see how it was...

The difference was incredible! It had really perked up, the leaves were

standing out, and best of all, it had somehow managed to put out a bloom overnight! As you can see, it has dropped a few leaves, the yellow ones, but it is really trying to make a go of it, and I am going to do my best to help it along. If I am lucky enough to get a tomato...I shall save the seeds and grow more from it next year...

All I need now, is a name...I need something that demonstrates it's ability to survive in extremely testing conditions, something that says 'I will survive'...

I would have Gloria (who of course had the single), but that's the name of my stepmum, so that's out-and anyway, I want a boys name...Hmmm, I shall have to think about it!

If anyone has any ideas, let me know!?!

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Location:Out and about

1 comment:

Fiona Storey said...

how about Audrey which means Noble Strength