My pride goeth be­fore my ‘melt­ing’ im­pa­tiens

The Covington News - - OPINION -

The seven deadly sins are pride, envy, glut­tony, lust, anger, greed and sloth. I’ll ad­mit to glut­tony, es­pe­cially when choco­late is in­volved.

But just re­cently I was re­minded by cir­cum­stances that pride goes be­fore a fall. “Pride goeth be­fore de­struc­tion, and an haughty spirit be­fore a fall,” (Proverbs 16:18).

Hubris, or pride, ac­cord­ing to Mil­ton in “Par­adise Lost,” was the sin of Satan, who warred with God in Heaven be­cause he thought he was all but equal to God. That pride was so strong that, even af­ter be­ing thrown out of Heaven and wal­low­ing in the fires of Hell, Satan made a plan to de­stroy God’s lat­est work — the cre­ation of Earth and mankind.

That pride was the sin of Satan is one rea­son, among oth­ers, why it is con­sid­ered the great­est of the deadly sins.

And my pride has led to the down­fall of my im­pa­tiens.

I bragged to you sev­eral weeks ago that my im­pa­tiens, in var­i­ous pots in the mid­dle of my drive­way, had never looked bet­ter. They were higher than they had ever been and were re­ally en­joy­ing the wet weather. They were a pretty light pink and made quite a show as you drove in my drive­way.

One week later, I be­gan to no­tice that some of the plants were al­most, it ap­peared to me, melt­ing. Their leaves dropped off, and the stems looked as though they were cut off at the point they en­ter the soil.

I fret­ted and won­dered what to do, but I pro­cras­ti­nated (which might be the sin of sloth). It was just one pot, and I still had some plants left in the flat I had pur­chased ear­lier. So I thought I would dig up the dead plants and re­plant the pots.

But first I looked on­line for in­for­ma­tion about what might be at­tack­ing my plants.

You are never sup­posed to look on­line when the doc­tor tells you might have a dis­ease. You find out far more than you need to know. Well, let me tell you that the same thing is true for plants.

There might be a fun­gus in my soil eat­ing my plants. The In­ter­net rec­om­mended I use a fungi­cide that con­tained some chem­i­cals with very long names, which I wrote down and never found listed on any fungi­cide that I picked up and in­spected in the gar­den depart­ment. I bought a fungi­cide and car­ried it home and sprayed the af­fected plant and the plants in pots sur­round­ing that plant.

There, I thought, that will take care of it. It didn’t.

Back to the In­ter­net. My plants might have root rot. It is some kind of pathogen that lives in the soil. The only so­lu­tion is to throw away all the dirt and plants, mak­ing sure to keep them from com­ing in con­tact with other plants.

I took that pot and emp­tied the dirt from it. It took me sev­eral trips to the garbage can; I couldn’t carry all that dirt at once.

I got rid of all signs of the in­fected plants and then washed, with hot soapy wa­ter (as was rec­om­mended by the In­ter­net), the pot and my hus­band’s old golf balls, which I put in the bot­tom of my pots for drainage.

I thought I’d wait a week and then plant those re­main­ing im­pa­tiens. No such luck. The plants in pots around the orig­i­nal pot are now get­ting sick.

I went back to the In­ter­net. It might be downy mildew. The rem­edy, again, is to throw ev­ery­thing away be­fore it con­tam­i­nates other flow­ers. Sev­eral en­tries about this dis­ease rec­om­mended that gar­den­ers con­sider plant­ing New Guinea im­pa­tiens or be­go­nias, nei­ther of which is af­fected by the dis­ease.

My hus­band bought me a big bag of pot­ting soil. But by the time I get all the pots emp­tied, the quar­an­tined flow­ers out of my yard, the pots washed and san­i­tized, it will be the mid­dle of Au­gust. I will do all of those things, just not in a hurry. With only about six weeks left be­fore it’s time to plant fall flow­ers, I am just go­ing to let those im­pa­tiens die and live with no flow­ers for six weeks.

But I miss those pretty im­pa­tiens. Or maybe it’s my pride that does.

Paula Travis is a re­tired teacher from the New­ton County School Sys­tem. She can be reached at ptravis@cov­

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