So I’m cleaning up a couple things in the front yard when I hear a voice on the other side of the hedge, “Giving away any succulents?”
Well, no, but…
I walk out to take a look. A skinny man with a walking stick, T-shirt, and belted shorts . White socks pulled calf-high. “My wife and I got some succulents for free at the senior center, and so we decided we’re going to tear out the grass and plant our yard in succulents. Need plenty more”
I remember my aloe arborescens. “ I’ve got aloes. You’re welcome to unlimited cuttings.”
He looks disappointed. “Oh, we got them all over the place. They pile up faster than garbage.”
Uh, ok. I figured I could spare a few sedums, so I take him over to that bed. “Those?” He snorts. “We’ve got those everywhere. And that, and that, and that one over there too. Never liked that one.”
“I don’t know what these are called,” I say, showing him some large-leafed succulents that I believe are rather rare. “But you can have several if you like.” His eyes take on a faraway expression, obviously rising above something distasteful.
So, I don’t know why, but now I’m desperate. “I’ve got senecio mandraliscae, ” showing him the blue, low growing groundcover. “Some people call them blue French fries, or blue fingers.”
One side of his mouth pulls down into a sneer. This offering is not even worth a rebuke.
I start backing into my yard for a quick getaway, but he follows, taking his time and looking around. “Well, that’s kind of inner-esting ,” he says, pointing with his walking stick.
Well yeah, it’s my 15-foot tree aloe.
“Might look good near the pool. And that’s kind of nice over there,” he says, again with the walking stick. Okay, that my big bush of blood red irosene that has been three years in the making. It’s not for donation, and besides, it’s not even remotely a succulent.
“You seen that lady who lives up the street, with that front yard full of succulents?” he asks. “Now, she really knows her stuff.”
“Oh, you’re right about that,” I tell him, opening my front door and jumping inside “Well, good luck with your garden.”
He shrugs, turning his head to take in the whole front yard. “Well, I’ll tell my wife what you’ve got.” Suddenly his face beams with a gentle smile, like a man does when he’s telling you a sweet sweet lie. You know, I love you babe, but don’t wait by the phone…
“My wife, she don’t get out much, but we might stop by one day. ”