An article in the news this past week told how a plant brought to an office some fourteen years ago has now grown into a 600-foot long vegetarian behemoth! According to the story by reporter Steve Chatterly, and posted on Good News Network website…
For those without green thumbs, it’s often a mystery why some plants thrive and others shrivel away. For Des and Allie Brennan of Protective Solutions Ltd in England, it’s become a very, very big mystery. Bringing in a small potted ivy cutting in 2009, they merely wanted to brighten up the workspace. Now, more than 14 years later, the plant has grown to almost 600 feet long—sprouting new shoots that require pinning up across the office walls and ceiling nearly every day.
It hangs from computer monitors—and even has its own sponsorship deal. “It started off as a bit of a laugh but we wouldn’t be without it now. We’d have to get another one if it ever went,” Allie explains. The ivy grows at an impressive rate of six inches per month and covers almost the entire office of the Brennans Gloucester-based packaging company Des founded in 2006.
“We try to keep it off the desks so it doesn’t get in the way but it hangs down and is joined onto the monitors,” said Allie. “It makes a massive difference to the office. We can’t envision the place without it—it would be dire.”
The open-concept office plan only measures 50 by 25 square feet, meaning that the monstrous ivy has to crisscross the ceiling back over itself a few times. “It’s a big talking point when customers come in as well. People ask if it’s real but I’m not sure where we’d get a fake one this size.”
Allie added that the plant is very low-maintenance, requiring some feed and some water only once a week. The plant has even received a sponsorship deal from a gardening company called Gardening Naturally, which provides seaweed extract food to the office.
Although Allie suspects if the plant continues to grow they’ll have to “bring machetes to the office” to hack through the growth—she says staff love the greenery.
“It changes daily. Sometimes it’s a bit creepy coming in and seeing it changing again,” said Allie. “The most time it takes up is taking the time to pin up the new shoots. Over lockdown the office was manned the whole time, according to guidelines. It was still looked after and the office air was probably purified for it… Staff love it. If it was gone we’d all notice it and we’d just have to get another.”
Now, my first response to this article is simply to say, “Wow!” Kudos to all those involved in nurturing this monstrous plant! Given that both my wife and I are among the very people the writer refers to as lacking green thumbs, the two of us stand amazed that most any indoor plant can be made to survive, let alone thrive for so long and for so much.
You see, for all intents and purposes, the two of us might as well run a plant hospice at our home. Just give us a house plant and we will quickly and assuredly nurture it right out of this world and into the next! And this, all in quick fashion!
All jokes aside, being made to survive and to thrive indoors is an understatement when it comes to living a decade and a half and increasing many hundred-fold in size during that same time period! After all, how can any indoor plant possibly achieve such longevity and /or productivity?
The answer, of course, is that one or more individuals must have always been there to nurture it! He, she, or they will have to had to have continuously fed it, watered it, fertilized it, repotted it, pruned it, and/or done any other tasks necessary to direct it in its continued overall growth pattern. So much so that the logical conclusion is that without such ongoing care and cultivation, it just would never have reached its current outstanding proportions.
And perhaps, in this simple insight, lies a lesson for all of us about life. As humans, we often have a propensity to take things into our lives as individuals that are, at the beginning, relatively small and seemingly insignificant. Over time, however, we tend to obsess over them; and as a result, we continue to nurture them. As we do, they then tend to grow in both size and significance.
Now none of this, in and of itself, is necessarily a bad thing. But neither is it necessarily a good thing. That all depends entirely upon the nature of whatever we have chosen to embrace and to value. If we embrace and nurture good things, they will grow within us and eventually tend to consume us. But if we embrace and nurture bad things, they will do likewise. In the latter case, we should beware!
In chapter 12 of the New Testament Gospel of Matthew, Jesus talks about a wicked spirit first taking up residence in the life of a person, and then later on, going out and finding seven other wicked spirits more wicked than itself to join it, making the final condition of that person far worse than at the first!
And so, my friends, be very careful with whatever you choose to fill your life. Be that the pursuit of a given possession or a given habit or a given pleasure or even of another given individual. For if you first embrace this entity, and then feed it and nurture it a little day by day, do not be surprised if and when it one days grows and abounds to the point that that it literally consumes you from the inside out!