A flowering plant proves to be the inspiration for neighbors to become begonia buddies.
Feb 22, 2017
Retirement was a big change for my neighbor Mary Ann. “The biggest downside,” she told me, “is that I miss having a reason to get myself out of the house.”
Her children found a solution. They gave Mary Ann a big potted begonia plant with bold pink petals. All summer it bloomed by her front door. “I love coming outside to admire it!” she told me one day.
“Are you going to take it in for the fall?” I asked once the weather started to change. “I never have luck with houseplants,” she said. “I suppose my begonia was only meant to last the summer.”
I hated to think of her losing that plant—and the joy it gave her. Maybe I could keep it alive, and plant it in the ground next spring. I called a greenhouse for advice. “A begonia will have a hard time surviving the dry winter air, even indoors,” the man told me. But for me it was worth a try.
Mary Ann was delighted with my scheme. All winter she checked up on the plant, sometimes just poking her head out and calling to me from the porch. “How’s the begonia doing?” she’d ask, and we’d wind up chatting about all kinds of things.
That spring I replanted the healthy begonia outside Mary Ann’s front door. Those bold pink blossoms are a reminder of a blooming friendship.