A Humbled Gardener!

Well, being a half-decent gardener, this was rather humbling. My lemon tree and my lime tree were mere sticks. Not one leaf remained. Leaves had been dropping steadily when I’d noticed little bugs on a nearby plant. So, I decided to spray them all. I used soap and water. Not because I’m an environmentalist, a tree-hugger-type. Nope. It was because I have five budgies I wanted to keep safe.
That sealed the fate of the citrus trees. Every leaf was on the ground by the next morning. Go figure. My daughter told me you aren’t supposed to use soap on glossy leaves. Maybe that was the problem? I didn’t think they were THAT glossy.
My hubby, Guy had bought me the plants in late spring as a special treat. They had a lot had more leaves then. I enjoyed their fragrant flowers all summer long.


And, even though they were labelled as lemon trees, a large lime made its appearance.

That was then, this was now. I searched high and low for the receipt. Guy reassured me the trees brought me more than a hundred dollars of happiness. That it was alright if I’d accidentally shredded it. He’s a good man.
I found the receipt in a pile of things “to be sorted”. Yeah, that was a safe spot. That pile just gets bigger and bigger because I pay it no mind. 😊
On a cold February day, I decided to return them. That was my second humbling moment: bringing two sticks back to the store.


I approached the counter. The lady on the other side of the counter told me I had to come from another direction. That was odd but I went back to the entrance of the store and met her there. I told her my receipt stated “Returns were accepted within 90 days” but when I bought the trees, I was told there was a one-year warranty. I figured she’d think I was a bit odd returning them on such a freezing day and just agree with me. She did. That worked out well. It was true after all. Both. I had read about the one-year warranty and yes, I picked a crazy day to ask for a refund!
She next told me these weren’t the original pots. Of course, not! I was intending to ask for my bright red pots back, but I didn’t want to push it. I need not have worried. She told me to remove the trees—sticks—from the pots because she needed them returned. I asked where I would put the soil. She pointed to a large red pail in the breezeway. “Over there!”
Well, I did what I was told. I wanted a refund and I wanted my pots back and she didn’t want my pots. Unfortunately, the garbage bag for the big red pail was three-quarters sagged into the pail. I did not feel comfortable reaching into the garbage container to fix it properly. I mean, who knows what was in it? So, as I tried to loosen my stick-of-a-plant from each container, and shake the root ball loose, the dirt flew everywhere. My scarf and winter ski jacket were covered in soil. And, unfortunately, some soil never made it to the garbage can.


I had asked the clerk for a bag but she said, “No, I don’t have any. Use the can.”
I returned to the lady, this time approaching on the proper side of the L-shaped counter. And, handed over my two sticks. She apologized for the fact she had to give me a gift card. I was happy about that as my hubby had bought them and I couldn’t put a store refund back on his card. It was in his wallet, with him at work right now. I’d been worried she’d want me to produce the same debit card. So, yes, I was quite content to receive a store gift card.
I took my gift card, and my two pots soiled with dirt, over to check out what new plants I could possibly bring home. And, try to keep alive!
There were brilliant odd-shaped cacti.


But, I have a tendency to overwater so they didn’t make the cut. A really nice woman came over to see if I needed help because I stood there so long, trying to make the right purchase. I asked her to check the price of a bromeliad as they were on a tall shelf. I could just picture the shelf toppling if I tried to reach up to check the price. I thought they were overpriced and I already had one at home so I passed on them, as well.
I saw some really beautiful plants but even if I fit them through my sunroof, I’d still struggle to bring them home, being as they were so tall and it was lightly snowing outside.

I settled on a decent-sized dracaena plant and some small crotons.



The nice employee told me how to care for it and said, “Make sure you have them wrap it up well with lots of bags at the check-out!”
I decided to buy a unique goldfish plant. I noticed it had glossy leaves. And, the sign on it said not for consumption. Ha ha!

Then, I stumbled upon the seeds. An eternal optimist is a gardener in the dead of winter buying seeds! I picked out a few…

I bought “doubles” in case the birds ate the seedlings.
I got to the check-out where George, a mentally challenged young man wore a Trainee badge. He was overseen by a middle-aged man who did a lot of talking and had his arms crossed. Mr. Trainer wanted him to scan my soiled red pots. No!! The next problem was my seed packages were difficult to scan. After a while, Mr. Trainer took over. He couldn’t scan them either. He told me, “Ma’am, you can’t purchase these seeds. They need to have their product code put on properly. You can’t have them.”
I thought my life would be complete once I had my hands on lemonade cosmos seeds. No, it was not possible. But, wait!
I optimistically inquired, “Do you think you can enter the code manually?”
Well, Mr. Trainer asked George to do it. When it didn’t work, he tried to do it himself. No success.
“Ma’am, you cannot purchase these seeds.”
“Okay…the nice lady who helped me told me to be sure the plants were well-wrapped.”
Mr. Trainer pointed and said, “There’s boxes and bags there. Help yourself!”
Ummm, not quite the answer I was expecting. I saw no boxes. I saw a huge roll of plastic that was taller than I was and I had no idea of how to cut it.
“Hmmm, do you happen to have some scissors I could borrow? Please?”
Mr. Trainer came to his senses now. He told George, “We pride ourselves here on giving expert customer service. So, YOU are going to wrap up that plant for her.”
Mr. Trainer and another clerk directed George on how to cut the wrap and tie it at the bottom. I tied it at the top myself.


I thanked George and told him he was doing an amazing job. And, that I was sorry my seed packages were such a nuisance.
I left the store. I felt bad about the mess near the garbage can. I didn’t do it on purpose…it’s hard to shake a rootball loose in a pot.
I called my hubby and told him I was having a “freaking awesome” day. That the store took back my “sticks” and I have new plants, and seeds for the spring and money left over.
Now, I just wait….come on springtime!


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