The beautiful Maidenhair fern I dug-up from my tiny courtyard garden to give to my newly-settled friend is struggling.
I took to the internet to find out why. Maidenhairs (Adiantum capillus-veneris L.) are notoriously finicky to grow. I’ve had my share of disasters when I aspired to have them as indoor specimens. I’ve learned by brutal experience Maidenhair ferns love humidity, they tolerate sun but hate wind and wet feet.
When I relocated to my current residence and imported buckets of good soil and humus to build up my garden, an unexpected bonus was this delicate fern popping up everywhere. I can only surmise the spores were in the humus I was spreading. No complaints from me!
Even more surprising was how successful these little opportunists were, blowing away all assumptions I had of Maidenhair ferns being difficult to grow. And, what’s more, they flourished in full sun.
I pondered on the reasons for the fragile health of my friend’s ‘trans-plant’. I know that any plant suffers a set-back when it’s moved, sometimes the set-back is temporary, sometimes it’s fatal. Whether that’s because of change of location – different degrees of light and shade, wind, moisture levels, soil composition, direction, or all of these things – the plant must adjust to the new conditions or die.
I thought of my friend in this light. You may remember I wrote about her leaving a professional post in Singapore after five years away, to return to her family and friends in Australia. She is setting up a terrace garden with plant donations from her friends. Hence the transplanted fern from me.
I think, like any other kind of transplant, transplanted people need to have the right conditions to flourish in a new place. Yes, location is important, but more crucial is support – emotional and physical. The winds of change can blow ill without the protection of people who care about us. Hope burning bright for our future, is as essential to us as the sun is for a plant’s photosynthesis.
I’m happy to report I hold great hopes for my friend’s Maidenhair ‘trans-plant’ – as I do indeed, for hers.
Happiness comes from … some curious adjustment to life.