Then, ready to take a pic of its new appearance, he tidied and swept the patio where we did the transplant, to show it off in its new habitat, which I must say is a much better fit than the tiny container it came from. So he recorded it from both angles, to show its new habitat to the owner via email.
All this took place under the eye of his guard dog, Appi, who is also his granddog.
The difficulty with giving plants, especially collections, as funeral offerings, is that the recipient not only has a nice reminder of the person, but has a longtime task of keeping it going and looking good.
And when she moves away, as this recipient did, to where the plant could not come, my neighbor inherited it. She checks up regularly and wants photographic evidence that it's flourishing, so he's nervous all the time about his lack of skill.
I've been keeping it, and a lot of his other houseplants, happy, and finally said, well, would J., the mother of the person whose funeral this was for, like me simply to take custody? we know each other, we've chatted gardens, and he came over today to do the transplanting and then, not before the transplant (!) to break it to me that she agrees and that it now lives under my guardianship.
It's found a sudden place on my staging upstairs, which involved a bit of juggling, since the whole thing was a surprise, but it's okay.
And while we were at it, we did a bit of work with his sweet potato plant relative whose name I forget, and I swiped a few cuttings while I was at it, in the name of pruning.
Officially I do this to give him backup plants if the original one falters, but we both know that gardener's larceny is at work and they will be my plants, along with various other rescues.
So that was the sudden gardening that broke out, not exactly what I thought I'd be doing, but great fun all the same. He commented that he can't resist when he sees plants needing a new home..to which I said, no, I know, if you don't have room, you'll find room, even if it's next door..
I can't say I object to all this nice greenery around the place, though.