Ficus Benjamina Finds a Good Home

In this blog post from Healthy Houseplants, Davey is mentioned for donating a tree from its booth at the Garden Writers Annual Symposium this year.

Posted: Sept. 25, 2015

By Julie Bawden-Davis

Whenever new people come into my life, I warn them. Whereas some will state, “I hope you like dogs or cats,” in the spirit of full disclosure I must be honest, so I say, “I hope you like plants. Especially trees.” 

Big trees, little trees, flowering trees, full, lush trees and spindlier ones. I love them all. Especially those trees that thrive indoors—like Ficus benjamina. So when Davey Tree Expert Company recently gave me a F. benjamina at the end of an exhibition they participated in at the annual Garden Writers Association’s Annual Symposium, which I also attended, I jumped at the chance to bring the beauty home with me.

First, however, I had a few logistical challenges to overcome. Like how to get an 8-foot-tall ficus from point A, the convention center, to point B, my home an hour away. To complicate matters, I didn’t have a vehicle with me, and even if I did, my car wouldn’t be big enough. I left the convention center for an evening to attend my mother’s birthday party, however, and my son, Danny, who owns a small SUV, was bringing me back to the convention.

I waited until the end of the birthday party when good will and cheer flowed to mention to Danny: “Oh, by the way, we need to pick up a little tree when we get back to the convention. I need you to bring it back to the house.”

“A tree?” my son asked, his eyes narrowing. “And how big is this ‘little’ tree?”

“Just 8 feet tall,” I mumbled.

“What?”

“She said 8 feet tall,” offered my son-in-law, Jeremy, putting himself on thin ice that cracked when he asked, “Where are you going to put the tree when you get it home?”

“I haven’t gotten that far yet,” I quipped, and as another garden writer affirmed when I shared my story later, where I put it was entirely irrelevant at that point.

“Now about getting my new tree friend home,” I continued, as I spied family members ensnared in my past plant retrievals and rescues slink off to their cars.

Danny and I were left standing all alone in the parking lot and he asked, “What kind of tree?”

“It’s a lovely Ficus benjamina,” I proclaimed.

“Those are really nice trees,” conceded Danny, who works at M & M Nursery when he’s not at college studying to be a computer programmer. “But I don’t know if my car is long enough.” 

“Oh, it will be fine!” I assured him with more bravado than I felt as we got into his car. You see, I had just realized the first of several wrinkles. Danny had elbow surgery three weeks before and couldn’t lift anything, so it would be me in my evening gown retrieving the tree and getting it into the car. No problem, I assured myself. This would run as smooth as …. (The fact that I couldn’t think of an analogy troubled me, but off we headed for the tree.)

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