Happy 2nd Earth Day Birthday, Giant Office Plant Monster

Earth Day Plant!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

On Earth Day 2015 as a fun perk, my employer marked the occasion by giving out free tiny potted palms to every home office employee. They were three inches tall, probably the kind that professional greenhouses give out to kids visiting on field trips. Most of them were probably dead within a week.

Just for kicks, I decided to conduct an experiment by seeing what would happen if I actually tried to take care of it.

Two years later, what was once a cheap greenhouse keepsake is nearly ready to audition for Little Shop of Horrors. Lucky for me it’s not empowered enough to escape my workplace or hitch a ride. Yet.

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Flowers Are Pretty 5: The Final Blooming?

Red Yellow Purple!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Twice per year my wife and I escort her grandmother to one of two special events at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Each November we visit the Indiana Christmas Gift and Hobby Show. Each March the highlight of her month is the Indiana Flower & Patio Show, which features numerous displays of colorful flora, booths where gardeners and homeowners can peruse and pick out their new seeds, plants, implements, and accoutrements for tending and cultivating their yards in the forthcoming spring and summer. Assorted horticulturists and lawn care companies show off bouquets, sample gardens, and ostentatious flowers you’ll wish you owned.

This weekend was that time again! After our previous jaunts in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, once more we walked the springtime labyrinth at the Indiana State Fairgrounds with the intrepid Mamaw, showing her the sights and navigating the nature-loving crowds. Thankfully spraining my knee last Saturday didn’t interfere with my wheelchair chauffeur duties. Mamaw, on the other hand, expressed some concern about how many more times we’ll get to share this outing. She’s 91 years old, isn’t beautifying the plots outside her house as much as she used to, and is finding the sensory overload more exhausting than ever.

She was also disappointed that her brother — a mere eightysomething whippersnapper — has exited his role working security at the show after its ownership changed hands last year. Now that he’s no longer hooking her up with free passes, she’s disappointed that we have to (*gasp*) pay our own way into the show. We assured her this isn’t a problem for us. It’s not an upper-class political fundraiser. As long as she’s still interested in attending her annual Super Bowl, we’re happy to keep seeing her there.

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Our 2002 Road Trip, Part 3 of 5: The Meijer Garden Department

Meijer Gardens Cacti!

We’ve posted several photo galleries over the years starring just flowers and plants, but none looked as cool or as lethal as these echinocactus barrels.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: a flashback to our fourth annual road trip, a meetup in Grand Rapids with fellow Star Wars fans for opening day of Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones. Before and after the movie, we spent our first time in Michigan hitting a few key tourist attractions in the vicinity.

In between movie showings, our friends Katrina and Shannon had us detour for one of the largest attractions in Grand Rapids, the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Opened in 1995 courtesy of the folks at Meijer — one of our larger big-box grocery/department store chains here in the Midwest — its 28 acres were donated to the city for use as a grand celebration of cultivated art and greenery. According to Wikipedia, Meijer Gardens has more than quadrupled in size since our 2002 visit. Our once in-depth examination is now an obsolete scratch across the surface of the flora and fancies that are surely like a standing army today. I suppose that’s what we get for arriving unfashionably early.

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Happy First Birthday, Free Earth Day Plant!

Earth Day Potted Palm!

On Earth Day 2015 as a fun perk, my employer marked the occasion by giving out free tiny potted palms to every home office employee. They were three inches tall, probably the kind that professional greenhouses give out to kids visiting on field trips. Most of them were probably dead within a week.

Just for kicks, I decided to conduct an experiment by seeing what would happen if I actually tried to take care of it. One year later, behold the results.

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2015 Road Trip Photos #46: Presidential Flowers Are Prettiest

Hermitage Garden!

When we planned our visit to Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage in Nashville, we expected American history, Presidential burial sites, preserved or simulated 19th-century living quarters, honest acknowledgment of slavery, and maybe a few war props. We didn’t expect so many pretty flowers.

Rachel Jackson’s sudden death in December 1828 mere weeks before her husband’s first inauguration means she was never officially a First Lady of the United States. Up to that point, one of her prize works was the one-acre garden on their estate, which remains in place to this day with many descendants of the original flora as living, blooming legacies. For longtime MCC readers familiar with our annual spring “Flowers Are Pretty” entries (follow the saga here, here, here, and here) may agree this walk around the Hermitage works well as a bonus chapter in that series.

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More Than Flowers at the Indiana Flower & Patio Show 2016

Dramatic Modern!

A variety of patio design options included this stark, eye-popping Dramatic Modern setup that can be part of your backyard for the high, high price of don’t-even-ask.

In our previous installment, you saw flowers and nothing but flowers from the 2016 Indiana Flower and Patio Show. But the exhibition, sprawled across two buildings at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, has so much more to offer than pretty flower displays. Various vendors offer gardening implements, flower and vegetable seeds, digging advice, contest drawings/telemarketing signups, garage finishing services, gutter-cleaning inventions, non-stick cookware, liquor, chocolate, nuts, coffee cakes, summer sausage, massages, eyelashes, poor abandoned pets, Indianapolis Star subscriptions, and more more more. And if you love aggressive sales pitches, DirecTV bought five separate booths specifically to irritate me, because the four booths they had last year didn’t do the job thoroughly enough, according to their anti-me tone-deaf focus groups.

But enough about marketing peeves. Let the pageantry and shopping begin!

Right this way for candy, characters, patio ideas, animals, and the little old lady who loved every minute of it!

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