Friday, May 24, 2019

A Macrame Home For My Spider Plant Family

Once upon a time I bought a spider plant.

She was a tiny young thing yet I had big dreams for her life.

I envisioned her growing into a grand lady, lush and luxuriant with her green and white striped leaves. And gathered around her in a cloud of tiny green and white clusters, I saw in my mind's eye dozens of baby spider plants.

Oh, how I looked forward to those slender stems shooting out from the plant base, yellow and firm, and then ever so gently, the buds forming on the end of the stems and leaves slowly bursting forth. My heart ached for those spider plant babies and I could not wait for them to grow.

I waited.

And waited.

I watered and fertilized and positioned my spider plant in ideal light.

In fact, I took absolutely precious care of my spider plant, and while her fountain of perfect leaves left me ever hopeful, there were no babies anywhere in sight.

A year passed.
Then two years passed.
Five years came and went, and still no sign of any baby spiders.

I was starting to get annoyed.

* * * * *

Last spring, I did what we all do when life has us frustrated. I turned to Google for insight and direction.

And here is what I learned. In terms of proper care, I was doing everything right. But several experts noted that spider plants often produce babies when they are, well, to be blunt, ignored.

Yes. Apparently my spider lady was too spoiled and lazy to produce shoots and grow children.

I was, in a word, outraged.

So I went upstairs, yanked the princess from her coveted spot in my bedroom, and tossed her outside.

Truth be told, I was going to ask my husband to pitch her into the compost bin.

Yep. I was that mad.

But instead, I just shoved her behind a chair on my front porch and mostly forgot about her.

* * * * *

I'm sure I don't need to tell you what happened next.

Yeah. My spider plant finally had babies. Dozen of happy, green and white striped infants, dancing around their mother on long, yellow stems. Every single one of my spider plant dreams came true.

My heart softened. I brought her out from behind the chair and set her on a table of honor. She continued to thrive outdoors until last October, when I brought her inside for the winter.

* * * * *

This spring, though the babies are still plentiful and adorable, I have to say that mama has suffered. Only a few faded strands remain of her original glory; every mother of toddlers could relate to her faded glamour.

But I still have great hopes for my faithful lady. I've taken her back out to the front patio for the summer, but alas, with all those babies hanging below her now, she needs a new place to perch.

So today, I whipped up a macrame hanger for the family. Exhausted mama spider plant lives safely cradled in the nest, and her babies hang happily in the safe space down below.

With just the right amount of love and care, I'm hoping that the whole family will be thriving soon.

^ First things first. Gracie would like to assert that she was my head assistant and quality control engineer on this macrame project. Also, she mostly slept. 

^ Like any macrame project worth its salt, this one began with me tripping over coils of untamed string/cord/hemp and muttering, "Seriously, I must have measured wrong because this is just ridiculously long." But it all worked out in the end.

^ Tying macrame knots is a lot like riding a bike, roller skating, or skiing moguls. Even if many years have passed since you last tried it, chances are good that your muscle memory is still there and you will be sailing along in no time. Though with macrame, there is far less risk of broken bones.

Spiral knots in the top pic; square knots in the bottom two photos. Thanks to well-written instructions and lucid tutorials, I sustained no knot-tying injuries whatsoever.

^ I wasn't kidding when I said that motherhood really took it out of my spider mama. She needs to send the kids to Grandma's house for a long weekend and get some serious sleep. But sadly, that is not an option for our poor girl.

  ^ But those babies. Aren't they too perfect? Just like human babies, they make all the craziness worthwhile. I only hope they don't grow up too soon. 

* * * * *

More macrame projects to light your fire:

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