Shelfie: Hope


This story is about a small shelf in my guest bedroom, where my ornamental asparagus plant sat.

I have owned this asparagus fern (botanical name:Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’) for twenty two years now.Β  It requires very low maintenance. This does not mean I could have ignored it, but that is exactly what happened. Through the winter months last year, I forgot to water it and today I noticed the brown leaves and dry branches.P1080097

I removed the pot from the shelf and I couldn’t believe it. How could this have happened?

I got to work- I had to salvage the plant and find out if I could save any of it.

P1080098There were so many dry branches- they had to be chopped off, they had to go.

I grasped the main stem of the plant and was easily able to pull it out of the pot. I could see the bone dry clump of roots. I was now losing hope.

P1080101And then I discovered a dozen fine needles or leaves.


P1080103I have cleaned what is left of the original plant and re-potted it .

I watered and put this plant in an easily accessible spot where I can water it every few days and keep an eye on it. At the end of this summer, I hope to update you about my Asparagus Fern.

This fern and a few other plants wereΒ  given to me by my friend Hedi twenty- two years ago, when I moved to the US and lived alone in an apartment.

Hedi and Charu

Hedi and I

Hedi passed away a few years ago. Hedi believed these plants would be waiting for me when I went back to my apartment after I finished working. I believe she was right.

Hedi and Charu 2

Hedi and I








P1080212These are the other plants that Hedi had given me and are doing perfectly well.

I visualize my asparagus fern as growing back again with its feathery light foliage and me fussing over its needles and rearranging its branches. If I could describe this in one word, it would be ‘hope’.


The re-potted asparagus fern.





25 thoughts on “Shelfie: Hope

  1. Wonderful story. Thanks so much for sharing. Can’t wait to see the ‘revived’ picture.I’m so impressed that you’ve been able to keep these plants going for such a long time. I’ve never had a green thumb.

  2. I have a feeling it will pull through and new shoots should come up if you continue to give it the desired attention πŸ™‚ I have a hobby nursery that gets neglected every Winter due to my absence and have found my almost dead Maiden Hair ferns come back from the roots once I start waring again in Spring.

  3. I really like this post, and I hope your asparagus fern recovers! What a beautiful way to remember your friend!
    I found your link on Ben’s post about nonfiction, greetings from Egypt!

  4. What a great post! I love the fact that you were able to nurse this plant back to health. It’s amazing how long you have had it. What an awesome story. πŸ™‚ This put a smile on my face!

  5. Oh!! It broke my heart to read about your plant. I know with the love you have given it over all of those years, it will come back even better than before…bless it’s roots. I truly enjoyed your post, and you have a new follow! Sandy

  6. I had a similar experience and can confirm that your hope in this particular fern is well-founded because it will grow back. Thanks for sharing; loved the story and your interpretation of the challenge.

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