Very similar to Spring Cleaning but occurring one or two weeks later, “Plant Day” has always been one of my most pleasurable household chores. Plant Day is that particular moment in time when all wintering indoor plants are moved outdoors for the summer. A kind of healing quest where, over time, all the winter-damaged miscellaneous plants of every description are carried outside (dead and yellowed leaves forming a Hansel & Gretel bread-crumb pathway through every doorway in the house) to a screw-hook fastened to a wizened tree or overhead porch-space, with a garden hose outlet nearby.
So it will be today at Lake Gaston.
One by one, the south-side houseplants are removed from their dangling chains and crowded tables, transferred to a seasonal space out-of-doors where varying degrees of sunlight soon performs a triage of sorts. Out comes the kitchen scissors amid screams heard only by me, as lagging shoots, roots, and leaves are snipped off in a massive shearing operation not unlike that shared by draftees at boot camp, sheep farms, or possibly even guillotine inductees.
But after a while the screaming subsides.
A positive type of attitude adjustment is occurring, one that works quite well in tightening up the ranks of straggler or confused plant limbs and dangling vines. By the time evening trickles through the leaves of nearby oak and maple tree neighbors, the indoor house plants will have become OUTDOOR house plants, no longer flinching when I walk by browsing casually through their foliage, looking for last-minute edits, like a needle-wielding dentist.
By nightfall most wounds will be healed and plant-heads will be carefully exploring their new surroundings, murmuring semi-contentedly to themselves just loudly enough so I can hear — new night sounds melding with the screeing of tree frogs, hoot-owls hooting, and the flap-flaps of bat wings chasing insects overhead.