Summer before last as we were getting ready to leave Paros, my neighbor and adopted sister, Angeliki, gave me some cuttings from her canna lilies. I carefully wrapped them and replanted them once back in Rome. One part I planted on the balcony, another part in a pot that I keep on the dining room table. Every time I look at them, I get a feeling of joy and tenderness. And when I say “good morning” to the lilies, it’s like saying “good morning” to Angeliki, too.
A few years ago my Greek neighbour Vasiliki gave me some periwinkle cuttings. They were easy to grow and that Periwinkle Pink made me so cheerful that I started planting them everywhere and gave clippings to friends as well. Little did Vasiliki know how much joy she would be spreading when she gave me the periwinkles.
I’ve always enjoyed propagating plants and often take walks with a small pair of scissors and a cloth bag in my purse in hopes of adding to my clippings. It’s not just about having plants for free. Above all, it’s about the idea of “da cosa nasce cosa”—from one thing comes another. From life comes life.
Now I’ve started to collect clippings from my friends in Greece. It makes me ever so happy to have their plants near me when I’m in Rome. And when I water them, I greet these plants as if they were my friends there in person.
Propagating plants from your friends is like propagating friendship. Especially when one propagation leads to another.